Saturday, February 6, 2016

the terrible

On Thursday night this week I was in Birmingham to read in support of the launch of Daniel Sluman's the terrible, his striking second collection from Nine Arches Press. Daniel's book, which I've been reading and re-reading since the event, is unflinching yet tender as it faces issues of disability, mortality, love and sex - it's intense and compelling stuff. Daniel's reading from and discussion of the book was recorded, and I can recommend catching up with it here.

Daniel was quite a tough act to follow, and I also very much enjoyed hearing new work by fellow Nine Arches Poet and current Cheltenham poet in residence Angela France. The event was hosted by Birmingham City University and we had a good crowd, including students from their MA programme.
I'm also pleased to have been invited to contribute to another excellent initiative in the region, the Poetry Salons at Ledbury. Organised by the same people who bring us the Poetry Festival, these events include a reading and interview by invited poets, plus an open mic session. I will be reading on 12 April 2016, but the next event, on Tuesday 9 February, will feature Maitreyabandhu, and the following month's event with Myra Connell will take place on 8 March. The readings are held in the Panelled Room in the Master's House in Ledbury (7pm - 9pm) and entry is only £5, to include a glass of Poetry Gold cider. There's no need to book.

Finally, Cheltenham Poetry Festival is on the horizon once more. The programme will appear soon, but I'm flattered that the organisers have put my on the cover! From what I hear, it will be an excellent line-up again this year. Apart from reading with Sarah James, I'll be running a workshop on 15 May on 'Beginning and Ending the Poem'. More details to follow soon.

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