Saturday, November 23, 2013

How it's been so far

Flu - my throat started to feel it as I packed up my books at Hornsey Library in London on October 26 and went for a peppermint tea with Kate Miller, a friend made at Local
Government Chronicle, a fellow journalist and an accomplished playwright. By the time I arrived home I was ready for bed. 
But whatever residual blues came with being out of action and staring at the sky from my high bed were dispersed over a weekend at Aldeburgh Poetry Festival from 8-10 November - two and a half days of listening, absorbing and wondering at the scope of contemporary poetry, starting with Grace Nichols' poems for children on Friday night, catching up with Peter Sansom who runs The North and The Poetry Business, and failing miserably in the poetry quiz! 
The energy that Aldeburgh generates was welcome as both trains to Hebden Bridge the following Monday were late. I arrived feeling the miles. At the Crown Inn I was reading with young Polish writer and artist Jacek Dehnel, smart, modern, intense. His writing and mine are very different, but seemed complementary. It was a chance, too, to thank Ben, Angela, Sarah and Tony from Arc Publications for doing such a good job on Woman's Head As Jug.
As we were leaving for aTurkish restaurant, a woman standing on the step outside said to me she never read poetry, never thought she'd like it, but as she listened she realised the poems were little stories and they made sense to her. 
In moments of doubt, when I wonder where this book will go, how far it will travel for readers, that was the greatest reassurance. She heard the poems and she heard herself in them. That is what I want - so far, so good. 
And the collection's now also available as an ebook on Kindle:  http://amzn.to/18keSP9

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