Sunday, 3 July 2011

Poetry in action

Have had an email from the editor of Areopagus magazine to say that he will be publishing my poem The Tree in the summer edition.  My poem is inspired by a William Barnes poem called Trees Be Company which I came across recently and loved.  Barnes who lived in the 1800's was a poet-parson who wrote mainly in Dorset dialect.

It's been a busy week.  On Thursday I went with a friend along to a Rhythm & Muse night at a pub in the next town.  The club meets once a month and this night there was a singing due The Flying Blueberries,  a guest poet, June English, as well as open mic spots.  I was interested to see how these things work, what the standard is, how the audience react etc.  The club has a good atmosphere, an intimate feel and all ages were represented.  All performances were well received and the subjects quite diverse.  It was a great evening, very inspiring and there was much laughter (many poems were humorous).  It's good to see what's out there, what people are writing and nice to see that poetry is alive and kicking!

At lunch time today I and another friend were at the Purcell Rooms on the South Bank (London) to see the author Alexander McCall Smith in interview with the book critic from The Guardian newspaper.  I have read virtually everything this man has written!  Hearing him speak was great, and he read a passage from the most recent 'Scotland Street' series The Importance of Being Seven.  He spoke about how he began writing books and the characters (he has to juggle so many). He said he loves listening to conversations on buses and in cafes (a good thing for all us writers to do!). He also said that often people make suggestions for stories for his characters and that if he thinks it's good he might use it.  One person asked if something nasty could happen to Bruce from 'Scotland Street' (he is a very vain character). There was a question and answer slot at the end and when one boy pointed out a mistake about the first 'case' the lady detective had made (McCall has written a pre-quel where the case is different). McCall invited him on to the stage and gave him a prize of £20 for the best question he'd come across!  There was much humour in the interview which I would have expected as his books often make me laugh out loud.  He seems very genuine and it was a shame when our time was up.

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