A poet’s persona: what to wear to the Featherston Book Town festival

Clothes on a bed: red dress, purple hat, green and blue jumper, shirt and trousers, black tights and starry black tee shirt. Book, How To Be Old by Rachel McAlpine
What to wear when reading poems at Featherston Book Town festival?

I know what I’m going to read at Featherston Booktown Festival on Saturday—but now, what to wear? I’m in three sessions: Storytelling at St Johns, Hear Me Roar, and Late Nite Lit Collision. All confused about my image. It’s autumn but I think the weather will be warm. Advice please!

Red dress and purple hat? Like the Jenny Joseph poem in reverse—

When I am old I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go...

Bright green and blue jumble of prints? (Symbolising chaos and growth? OK for hot or cold weather…)

Starry black tee shirt from a Webstock long ago with black pants? (Poets wear black don’t they? But I don’t have a black roll neck tee shirt.)

Or—whatever? Truth is I’ll probably grab any of the above and later think Bother, I forgot to bring X. or Y. or Z. Leaving tomorrow and whatever I wear, the Featherston Booktown Festival is going to be amazing and fun and full of excitement. Friday night fish’n’chips grand opening. Sunday I get to be in the audience, yay.

PS I know, I know. Nothing on the blog for weeks then three posts in a single day. But hey.

UPDATE: The Featherston Book Town festival was a joy from start to finish.

29 thoughts on “A poet’s persona: what to wear to the Featherston Book Town festival

  1. Definitely red and purple, but who cares, and what does it matter anyway?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh you saw right through me : I want to know why people prefer certain clothes over others. And we do have reasons…conscious or otherwise.

      1. Peer pressure, certainly in the young, plays a large part!

  2. haoyando says:

    Love the red and purple combination. So bold and so expressive. LOL.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I think we are seeing a trend here.

      1. haoyando says:

        A wonderful trend.

  3. cedar51 says:

    Will you be photographed? Layers are always good even if it’s warm the aircon might be on high or a nasty draft coming in from somewhere? If you’ve sitting to read will everything you don’t want seen, be covered? What is your most comfortable get-up? What do you always feel good in (colour/style/other)? And as Peter suggests “who cares” … and finally “have a blast”

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Sounds as our website

  4. Mamalava says:

    I think blue and green. The colors say cool, calm, and collected… but the pattern says not to assume anything 😉

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      What an interesting thought! I do love those colours and maybe that’s why.

  5. Whatever you wear, you will look marvelous.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      If I prepare well, I feel confident and that’s the main thing. Then whatever I wearing turns out to be the right thing.

      1. That’s a great philosophy. I know you’ll wear a smile, too.

  6. myrak says:

    Warm, comfortable, cheerful, uplifting, colourful, layered….you……..unencumbered by anyone’s views…..Love everything in this picture. Myraxxx

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I will probably toss them all in my bag and make a last minute decision xx

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love the red and purple; photographs well and exciting colors. Like the black because I’m from NYC originally and poets and black clothing are pbj. You can’t go wrong if you feel good.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I’m swinging that way too.

  8. Red n purple, but don’t listen to us, just wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing. And have a great time!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You can count on it. Thanks!

  9. realruth says:

    Definitely the purple hat!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Having found it and shown it, I’m at least half committed to wearing it.

  10. LA says:

    Sounds wonderful! Whatever you wear will be perfect!

  11. cedar51 says:

    I have no idea what your reply to me means?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And me the great communicator;) I mean you gave such good advice that I assumed you have often been in the same situation: preparing to speak in public! Was I wrong?

    2. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Also, despite everyone’s advice, I’ll probably make a last-minute decision about what to wear. Clear as mud?

  12. cedar51 says:

    Rachel, my earliest debacle with “public speaking” was in the 1980s – I was advised by landline (before i-phones) that I would need to speak for our community on a live TV broadcast. I asked when? Reply was…probably not for a few days. I said I will at my workshop which was in a large building with quite a few others. Okay, we shall come back to you.

    The NEXT day I’m in my work-clothes – read, old/tattered and said person comes in and says “in an hour, TV people will come and collect you” – I’m stunned, I’ll need something to wear that looks good on TV…to which someone else says “all you need is a respectable top” – I end up wearing one of the knitters nice long cardigans…and I felt like a fraud with the TV presenter grilling me on various aspects in a very public place at the newly opened Aotea Centre…talking about the tapestry that was created by a designer and the Australian Tapestry Workshops.

    And yes it aired on TV with the designer beside me (he was there, smug as hell) – all of say 5 minutes!

    I continued through my years with various organisations, often talking to very large audiences about all kinds of things, be it “what the organisation is doing about xyz through to really wonderful achievements of others” – I remember one time I was trying to read from my “to do/list” and I couldn’t for some reason understand my own writing! It was so embarrassing – I turned it around and said “does anyone know what I’m supposed to be saying…” and there was much laughter ….

    I’m sure you will do fine, Rachel…you’ve got this 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      The upside of this episode is that it makes a marvellous story, right? And of course you carried it off.

  13. As soon as I saw your title I thought of Jenny Joseph. Red and purple it is

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      A happy coincidence. The weekend was a howling success.

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