Two years ago George Fowler impulsively ran a poetry show with an all-female lineup.
‘The girls really wanted to do more and the vibe on the night was so lovely. And the rest is history!’ says George, who performs and produces as Hugo Grrrl. Since then the Wellington Feminist Poetry Club has been meeting at the Fringe Bar once a month to deliver ‘whip-smart and biting’ spoken word poetry. The biggest challenge was figuring out what to call themselves. ‘Finding the name that accurately captures what we were up to was a mission. And even now we’re still misunderstood and get the odd message calling us man-hating or exclusionary. Sigh.’
The aim of the club is to encourage good writing and sharing. ‘We
like to say the poetry read doesn’t necessarily need to be feminist at all,
it’s the environment that’s feminist − in that it opens the floor for women and
gender minorities to tell their stories and share their writing in a safe
space.’ George’s advice for all budding poets is to get on stage and share
their work. ‘No matter what kind of experience you have, it’ll be educational.
Nothing can teach you about yourself like a live audience can.’
A favourite moment from last year’s poetry readings was having
‘powerhouse’ Jess Holly Bates headline a recent show. The poetry scene is fast
expanding, George says. ‘I’m really excited and am so stoked to watch the dope
crew of young women and non-binary folk at FPC continue to kill it and grow