Time of Fire Performance by Harry Laing

Published by Ian Dalkin on

Time of Fire Performance by Harry Laing

6pm Thursday 11 April

Planetary Health Precinct (former Katoomba Golf Course)

33-39 Acacia Street Katoomba, NSW 2780

Put bushfire and a poet together and you get an electrifying, rare, poetic insight into the drama of fire and its aftermath.

This event is free but bookings are essential here
Donations to the Blue Mountains Disaster Ready Fund are welcome here


Join the Planetary Health Initiative and Braidwood poet Harry Laing for an evening of poetry and reflection about what it means to live in a ‘time of fire’ – both in the Blue Mountains and the Southern Tablelands.

Time of Fire,Harry Laing’s fourth poetry collection, zeroes in on his experience in the 2019-2020 bushfires: both as a landholder living on the edge of Monga National Park on the NSW Southern Tablelands and as a volunteer with the NSW Rural Fire Service.

in the stun-scape in the burn-scape

in the black of so much dying

there were days of almost nothing

of the living there was nothing

but the falling just a smatter

and a falling of the colour

of the dead leaves’ silent scatter

…after all the death and taking

you’re so much closer to the living

there’s a fierceness to the living

when you start again from nothing

Harry’s performance is not only a dramatic account of the ferocity of the fire but also a witnessing of the regenerative power of the forest and the depth of connection in the Braidwood Community and people’s care for each other at such a threatening time.

Harry will be happy to answer any questions after his performance and invites the audience’s reflections.


Brief Bio

Harry Laing is a poet, comic performer and children’s author.Time of Fire,his fourth collection,an account of his experience of the 2019/ 20 fires was published in August 2023. Harry also has three books of poetry for children to his name. For five years he MC’d the PoetryAlive@Stanley Street Gallery poetry readings (Sydney) and together with poet Nicola Bowery runs the PoetryAlive poetry weekends. He regularly appears as a guest author in schools.

This eventis part of a Bioregional Collaboration for Planetary Health and is supported by the Disaster Risk Reduction Fund (DRRF). The DRRF is jointly funded by the Australian and New South Wales governments.