Friday, December 25, 2009

A tribute from the IIML Newsletter:

Bub Bridger 1924-2009

Bub Bridger died last week. Wherever she was living (latterly Granity, on the West Coast), she usually rang us up about this time each year – just to say Merry Christmas and check how things were going. Bub was best known as a poet, and particularly one who read her own work brilliantly.

She was one of the mainstays of the 90s feminist show Hens’ Teeth, particularly when she read aloud her raunchy performance pieces addressed to younger men – e.g. the poet Ian Wedde, or the All Black Whetton brothers:

I want a Whetton for Christmas!
Either Alan or Gary would do . . .
I’d l-o-o-o-o-ve a Whetton for Christmas
For some frolicsome festival woo
But – they tell me that Gary is married
Still . . . Alan is there to be plucked
And his eyes and his thighs are s-o-o-o-o sexy
And his body just made to be . . . admired.

(from ‘A Christmas Wish’)

Bub was one of the very first writers to get her start at Victoria University. She attended a creative writing course with Michael King here in 1974, and always credited him as ‘the one who showed me the way’. For those who have missed her work – both poems and short stories – the best place to make its acquaintance is in the 2005 collection Wild Daisies: the Best of Bub Bridger, which contains over 100 pages of writing, plus a CD of Bub herself reading a selection of poems.
On Boxing Day between 8 and 10 am National Radio will replay Kim Hill’s 2005 interview with the poet, alongside an interview with Sam Hunt.

1 comment:

Rachael King said...

My father is often cited as the person who got Bub writing, but what isn't as well known is that she did the same for me. When I was about 16 I entered the PEN Young Writer competition. It was double blind judging, and when I got the story I wrote back, it was from Bub, who I had known since I was 10 years old. She wrote on my story: "You say some rather silly things. But there is something beautiful about this. Keep it up and I'm sure you'll be a writer one day." It was some 15 years before I told her about receiving those comments.

She told me later she was criticised for being too harsh with her feedback to the entrants, but she was just being honest in a caring way.

She was a wonderful woman who I will miss greatly.