Hello all – This week has been my first ‘proper’ week as a part-time teacher instead of full time. I had Monday off after a very full and exciting weekend down at the Inpress Poetry Garden Market. The reading went really well and I sold 17 copies. My dad has sold two of my pamphlets this week and given one away – it’s quite a funny story actually. My dad is a scaffolder and is working on a theatre and has been talking to the director over the last couple of weeks, telling her about me writing poetry. Anyway, the other day he managed to flog her a pamphlet – which actually doesn’t suprise me, as I think he has forced five unsuspecting scaffolders into purchasing my pamphlet – they probably have no interest in poetry, but that wouldn’t stop my dad! Anyway, the director lady told my dad that she’d been having dinner with Andrew Motion (as you do) and she’d told him about Dad, him being a scaffolder and having a poet for a daughter, and Andrew would like a pamphlet as well, so actually she’d like to buy two! So then my Dad says ‘Who’s Andrew Motion then?’ and when director lady tells him he’s the former Poet Laureate, he says ‘Oh, well in that case, he can have one for free’.
I think my dad is now Officially Out Of Control. Who knows who he will meet, and who he’ll sell one to next? Anyway, my official sales count is now 169, and the first reprint of the pamphlet has now been deliverd to the Poetry Business Office.
Anyway, back to Inpress – it just so happened that the lovely Ita Dempsey, who I stayed with when I went over to Ireland for the Fermoy Poetry Festival, was over in London visiting family, so she came along to the reading, so it was lovely to see her. And I was staying with my lovely friend Jill Abram, who I met on the Second Light course a couple of weeks ago, so it was nice to see Jill again. The next morning Jill and I went to Brixton Market and we had lunch at this lovely cafe – it was a specialist burger place – but it was the nicest burger I’ve ever eaten. On the way to the train station, Jill bumped into one of her neighbours, who is deaf. They started talking in sign language, and suddenly the noise and the chaos of a busy street in Brixton seemed to be swallowed by this silence – it was the strangest, experience. I was also quite impressed that Jill knows sign language – how amazing is that, to be able to converse with her neighbour? You learn something new about people every day.
The Inpress staff were lovely – so well-organised and friendly. There’s nothing worse than turning up to read somewhere and not feeling welcome, but Inpress were great and it was lovely to get the chance to hear the other readers – I spent far too much money on books though – which was good as there were delays on the train on the way back the next day, so that gave me something to do.
Anyway, my day off went pretty well – I finished a review that I’ve been meaning to do for ages, posted off some poems to a magazine that I’ve also been meaning to send to, met up with a friend, Jennifer Copley, to get the proposals finished for the residential course that we are running next year in Grange-Over-Sands (11th-13th Feb), posted off birthday cards to my neice and nephew and some baby clothes for my new great-neice and then went and did my stint of conducting with the junior band. So it wasn’t actually much of a day off really!
Anyway, tomorrow (21st September) I’m reading at Lancaster Spotlight which is at a new venue, which is the Park Hotel, 1 St Oswald Street, Lancaster, LA13As, starting at 8.00pm. If anyone would like a lift from Barrow, let me know! And if anyone is going, let me know – it would be lovely to see some/all of you!
And then on Saturday, I’ll be up at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick along with local poets Jennifer Copley, Antony Christie, Gill Nicholson and Martyn Halsall reading poets to go with an exhibition by Deborah Parker called September is the Cruellest Month. That starts at 1.00pm and if you would like more info, check out www.newwritingcumbria.org.uk which is a geat site anyway, with lots of news/events/opportunities for writers.
And then on Saturday evening, it’s A Poem and A Pint! Our guest poet is the Poet in Residence from the Wordsworth Trust, the lovely Carola Luther – one of the nicest people in the poetry world and a really interesting writer. She is really worth coming to hear read – I think she has such a warm personality and I’m really looking forward to hearing her new poems. In fact, there may very well be a Carola Luther poem on here on Sunday in way of celebration
I haven’t even told you all about the wonderful reading I went to on Tuesday at the Wordsworth Trust with Andrew Grieg and Graham Mort – I bought yet more books, but I think this post is probably far too long as it is.
If anyone would like more information on any of the events, just get in contact.