Saturday 13 May 2006

A Life in Poetry

I've had a brilliant, poetry-driven week. On Monday night, I went with Joelle Adams and Annie McGann to an open poetry reading at Bath Spa's student union pub. I was impressed by the inventiveness and assurance of some students finishing the second year performance poetry class, and I was glad to hear Annie read after so long a time. I contributed with reading four new poems, "The Apprentice (1)," "The Apprentice (2)," "The Weather in Normal," and "The War's Fourth Year."

Tuesday night Tim (Liardet) and I met up to talk about undergraduate poetry &c. at The Globe, and Wednesday night, waiting for the bus back to Bradford on Avon, I ran into my friends Karen and Alan; we headed in to All Bar One (the tapas partly redeems the yuppie atmosphere) and talked life and work and poetry for hours. I arrived home feeling giddy from both sauvignon blanc and good conversation.

Thursday Deryn Rees-Jones and Gabrielle Calvocoressi read at BRSLI for the Bath Spa Reading Series, and while I'd have liked to see a larger crowd, I had no other disappointments. While their reading and writing styles are very different, Deryn and Gabrielle complemented one another well, and I enjoyed hearing them both. Some of Gabrielle's new work especially struck me, making me eager for her next book. We all went round to The Eastern Eye for a delicious curry, making for a perfect end to the evening.

Lytton Smith, my friend and publicist for Persea Books, Gabrielle's publisher, stayed the night at Matt and I's place on Thursday, and in the morning we talked about the state of British and American poetry until he had to catch his train. It's a conversation I never tire of. And Friday night, my old workshop resumed when Claire came round for dinner, and Matt, Claire and I workshopped new poems. I found it invigorating, as everyone had strong, original work to contribute, and the discussions about the poems proved ideally constructive (well, at least I feel that way about the feedback I received, and I gathered the same from Matt and Claire). I'm glad we're due to meet again in just a couple weeks' time.

I wouldn't want so much activity every week, but how grand to have such weeks now and again!

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