Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Poetry in Motion ...

... all over the place!  

The weekend before last it was off to Bath for a Poetry Café writing day on the Saturday, which was run by the indefatigable Sue Boyle with assistance from Lesley Saunders, and in the evening I helped to run the bookstall at the Acumen Poetry evening at which the winners of the competition I'd helped to judge were announced.  On the Sunday, the judges were invited to lunch at Sue's lovely home in the company of Patricia Oxley, the general editor of Acumen Magazine, and her husband, poet and philosopher William Oxley, and a fascinating time was had.

That would have been enough adornment for any week, but this was just the start.  Monday I read at Acoustic Night Bristol at Halo Cafe Bar, which is just about the best, friendliest and most varied open mic you can imagine.

Thursday it was off to Bradford-on-Avon to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Words and Ears in the cellar bar of the Swan Hotel, an open mic at which I was the featured guest.  Despite the monsoon, I had a wonderful evening, sold a few books and had some very kind feedback from organiser, Dawn Gorman.
Better still, while we were puddling disconsolately around the town in the afternoon, we encountered a handfasting taking place on the grass outside Bradford-on-Avon tithe barn.  It was just wonderful to watch and I felt no need to rattle my chains, as is normally the case at weddings.  What I liked best is that as well as invoking Aphrodite and Ganesh, the priest summoned The Old Ones ... and we duly arrived.  Pameli Benham and I had a sip of Buck's Fizz from the Loving Cup and gave the celebrants a copy of our respective poetry collections at which they looked rather alarmed.  Maybe they thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses.

Photo by Dru Marland
Then on Friday I read at Poetry Please in Chipping Sodbury Town Hall, having come second in the Chipping Sodbury Festival poetry competition this year with 'The Poet and the Boatman'.  I've been asked to judge it next year, so took the opportunity to tell those present that I shall be open to bribery. (Just kidding, of course ... )

Saturday saw me reading in Halo again, at a Ladyfest Fundraiser also featuring Rose Flint whose work I like very much.  There were some other great contributors also, including the wonderful Lou Bell, whose voice I adore, not to mention her guitar playing but who has no videos on Youtube for me to post (though I did barter a copy of Communion for one of her CDs).  And the equally wonderful Rebecca Cant who does, but who forgot to bring any of her CDs with her.  I adore her song,
Fisherwoman Blues, from her Songs in the Shed session.

That might seem like enough, but I'm off to Bath again tomorrow to attend the launch of the new art exhibition, faces [Bath], which which I and lots of other local poets are collaborating.

How much better is my new life than my old one?  Impossible to quantify.  What price freedom and poetry?


  1. You are looking good, free as a poet reading her favorite poems!
    We've heard Susan Boyle the singer over here, is that the same Sue Boyle?

    1. No, this is the original and unbeatable Sue Boyle, poet, and organiser of the Bath Poetry Cafe. She's my mother in poetry.