Sunday, 25 October 2009

Busy poetry times

Time slips away far too quickly; weeks and months just slide by when I'm not looking. There have been busy poetry times though, which is always good. Last week was Cheltenham Literature Festival and it somehow snuck up on me because I was horrifically busy at work so I didn't get any tickets before it started;I also couldn't spare the time to take any time off to go to daytime events. This isn't a big deal though,as what I most like to get to is the free 'poetry cafe' in the afternoons and I got to all five of them.

So - Monday was Sonia Hendy-Isaac and Polly Clark; Tuesday was Claire Pollard and Joe Dunthorne promoting the 'Voice Recognition' anthology; Wednesday was to have been Nigel McLoughlin and Imtiaz Dharker but Imtiaz Dharker had to pull out and I was delighted to be asked to substitute. I read in the Poetry Cafe last year and enjoy it: the audience are attentive and serious about poetry and it's always nice to get the book into the festival bookshop. As it was a 'bonus' reading, I gave my corona - Lïr - its first public outing. It went well, I think, and I appreciated the chance to try it out.
Thursday was George Szirtes and Roddy Lumsden (who was substituting for an unwell Peter Porter) and Friday was Don Paterson and Owen Sheers. I bought a number of books, some of which I haven't had time to open yet but am loving Paterson's 'Rain' and Szirtes's 'The Burning of the Books'

This week I've been up to Liverpool to read at The Dead Good Poets Society. I stayed with Colin Watts and his wife in their lovely home and enjoyed reading to a small (but attentive and perfectly formed) audience. I've never been to Liverpool before so had a tourist morning before I drove home and was glad to have seen the Liver Birds and Albert dock.

My reading and thinking continues as I try to solidify my PhD direction. I am deep into Arthur Koestler's' The Act of Creation and finding connections with all sorts of other things I've read as well as finding the first stirrings of poem sparks from it (glory be!)