Last night I went to a reading, organised by Maggie Norton of Word Market fame. Myra Schneider and Dilys Wood came to be the guest poets and local poets Neil Curry and Maggie Norton also did an extended reading. Neil read from ‘Letters Never Sent’, a series of letters to various dead people, which is forthcoming from Enitharmon www.enitharmon.co.uk
in October, and Maggie read from her new collection, out from Indigo Dreams press. Myra and Dilys were great, and I had a lovely chat with Dilys in the interval about women’s writing, feminism etc which I really enjoyed. She convinced me to join the Second Light Network (www.secondlightlive.co.uk) as an ‘associate member’ (you have to be over 40 to be a full member). The Second Light Network is a network primarily for women over 40 and they have a great magazine, Artemis which publishes women’s writing.
I know some people question the value of women only networks and magazines, but I believe they are still needed – if only to enable women writers to gain confidence. In the workshop today there was one man and eleven women (I think) but these figures are not born out in publishing terms. There were some great writers at the workshop today – a woman called Pat who I hope to bump into again (I didn’t get her last name) who has not done any writing before, has never sent work out but wrote an amazing poem about primroses in Sarajevo.
I really enjoyed the workshop today. Myra creates a very relaxed atmosphere, and I was impressed with the level of work produced. I got three ‘starts’ of poems – I’ll have to leave them in the notebook for a couple of days before I decide whether they might be poems or not!