Powerful words being heard

Anna Killick.

Tying words and emotions together, Anna Killick says her poetry journey has been like a “lonely love story” – until she found ‘Slam’ that is.  Slam is Slam Poetry – a style of performance poetry.

The 43-year-old has been writing poetry as long as she can remember.

“My first love’s always been poetry,” says Anna.

“I’m just walking along and I’ll get a line in my head and I’ll be like: ‘Oh I have to write this down’ and then usually more flows from that.

“I love words. I’ve studied five or six languages and…I just love reading and anything to do with words. I just wrote, and wrote, and wrote. And years, and years, like decades later, it’s being heard.”

Anna found a voice for her poetry 16 months ago through Slam Poetry. And last year she was named the Tauranga Poetry Slam Champion at the Wham Bam Tauranga Poetry Slam.

“It’s been beautiful because people have come up to me you know, crying and just saying: ‘Thank you for saying what I've never been able to say’.

“I find that really humbling…I can’t imagine that this little poem that I wrote is actually speaking to people and other people were feeling the same way. That’s the biggest thing for me and the biggest reason why I do it. People don’t go around saying the worst things about their life often and you sort of invite a conversation – and I think that’s really important.”

Conserving energy

Anna has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

“I’ve had several chronic illnesses during 26 years. It really gets me down sometimes as I sleep through the night and then after breakfast/lunch, I sleep for another three or so hours. It’s hard for me, like I save all my possible energy for gigs and competitions so that’s usually the only time I surface.”

She credits her husband Andrew for supporting her in her poetry.

“I could not do this without the support of Andrew. He drives me to and from venues, encourages me, does most of the household chores as I get too tired, helps me take care of myself so I can make gigs and comps, listens to all my poems endlessly and believes in me.”

Anna will perform her poetry this Saturday, March 9 at Tauranga Fringe Festival at The Historic Village.

Yet she’ll have to do her worst as the theme of the festival’s poetry competition is ‘Cringe of the Fringe’ – with poets bringing their most second-rate verses.

“I just can’t wait because they’re going to be so bad, that it’s going to be so good.”

The Cringe Fest section of the Tauranga Fringe Festival starts 2pm, where you can hear Anna perform.  For more information on Tauranga Fringe Festival, visit: https://www.theincubator.co.nz/tauranga-fringe-old

1 comment


Posted on 08-03-2024 12:41 | By morepork

As a sometime writer and poet myself, I'm not sure it is a good idea to recognize and reward the second-rate. Still, if it gets people to write, I guess it is worthwhile. Writing poetry (and prose) CAN be a therapy that is within the reach of anyone and the results don't have to be earth-shattering, as long as it makes you feel better. I'll definitely try and get to the festival.

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