A poet and barista

Ben Oost

A Woodend barista with a passion for poetry will share selections from his growing body of work at a spoken-word event this weekend.

By day, Ben Oost puts his energy into creating sublime coffee. Outside work hours, he pours his being into crafting the perfect rhyme.

His effort and talent have led to him being invited to be the featured reader for the next monthly meeting of the local group, The Chamber Poets.

Oost, who owns The Village Larder, says his interest in poetic works was piqued while studying Keats at high school.

‘‘I fell in love with poetry the day I read To Autumn,’’ he says. ‘‘I have always enjoyed writing, but it was years before I decided to take it more seriously.’’

Creative writing sessions at Woodend Neighbourhood House, led by local poet Myron Lysenko, gave Oost the push he needed to pursue his art with more vigour.

‘‘It was only a couple of years ago that I made the decision to attend the workshops, and then wrote a couple of poems that had some success,’’ Oost says.

He says anyone interested in poetry is welcome at Chamber Poets events, which include an open mic section.

‘‘There’s no pressure to perform and, while some of the members are quite accomplished, it’s a really encouraging atmosphere. It’s not elitist in the slightest.’’ The group’s next meeting is at The Chamber Art and Coffee House in Woodend from 2-4pm this Saturday.