|A quick snatched photo after the readings|
I was delighted that a few of my friends were able to come along and support me and was also surprised to see two members of the former Malden Arts Association there (something I also belonged to). They had no idea I would be there!
Nibbles and drinks were laid on both before and after the event. It was a small group, possibly around 20 or so and all the finalist were present. Before we read there was a short introduction and the local poet and competition judge Alison Hill read from her forthcoming collection, as did another poet, whose name I have sadly forgotten in the nerves running up to it all! But later she asked to see my poem and said how much she liked it.
The theme for the competition was water and there was a prize for the best poem set in a Kingston location which was read before the third place poem and then I got up to read. I'd practiced at home but there was no microphone so I had to be aware of that. The reading went well and everyone clapped. I'd been running on adrenalin up until then after which I felt rather shaky and wasn't giving the winner's poem the attention it deserved. I've just read it online - wow!
After the readings and prizes individual photos were taken, then several group shots. We were then asked for quotes. All this was due to go onto the website. It's been coming in dribs and drabs and I'm still not sure the photos are coming! The link to the website is here and gives the names of all prize winners along with their poems as well as other information relating to Alison Hill and Rhythm & Muse, which I have been to once.
I am very proud of this achievement and I learned a lot about networking, how to read and that I could do it again! My hubby videoed it but missed the first four lines as he was trying to take a quick shot with my camera (unsuccessfully) but my techie son has an idea to 'rescue' it. The video also helps me look at the way I perform. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this and one thing I noticed is that my head is down more than I'd have wanted. But you learn from these things and I did remember to look up occasionally (I had a mental check list of stuff!). I had a chance to chat to Alison whose first collection I have read and speak to the other poets. Looking at the photos my hubby took I don't look very relaxed! But as I said the adrenaline had warn off.
It was a lovely evening and the next day I sat down and wrote another poem! These kind of highs spur me on, give me encouragement, inspiration and drive to carry on. It's was wonderful to share this moment with my friends and I appreciate very much their support. I'm very pleased to be able to share this with you, my readers. This is another step (I hope) on the long ladder!