We at London Open Mic are sad to see Shelly go. She has been one of the most fascinating people in our lives, and one of the most creative and focussed talents to grace our stage. To say that her poetry is astonishingly beautiful is not an overstatement.
We feel very lucky to have known Shelly during these short years, lucky to have been a small part in the incredible journey that is her life, past and future. Those long, intense conversations over beer and tea will not be forgotten, nor will the feelings they have engendered in us.
Shelly has never been one to shower people with her talents. We discovered them slowly, usually by accident. Only some of us have heard her play classical piano, and fewer yet knew that she was apprenticing to play one of the grandest church organs in the region, in Saint Thomas.
For four months in the summer of 2015, and mostly alone, Shelly backpacked through Europe, writing poems as she went. Afterwards, she thought of collecting those poems into a volume, and, given enough time in her busy future, may yet do so. A few of us read them live, as she posted them to her blog during her travels. We were transported there ourselves, via those beautiful, often profound, always heart-felt poems. It was a rare and wonderful experience. That journey can still be read on her blog, its first entry (May 15th, 2015) being the first poem of the trip, in Athens. The blog is called “as tumbled over rim in roundy wells, stones ring”. It can be found at https://hardershelly.wordpress.com/.
Shelly Harder can be heard in probably her last reading in London today, July 29th, as she takes part in the Couplets Reading Series, co-featuring with Monika Lee.
Couplets: a Collaborative Reading Series: Friday, July 29th, 6:30pm – 7:30pm @ Chapters (South), 1037 Wellington Road, London.