Back to work today, after a wonderful weekend in Edinburgh. The reading at Word Power on Saturday, with James Wood, Rob Mackenzie and Andrew Philip, was an extremely enjoyable affair. As so often seems to happen, despite having made our choices wholly independently, the poems we read clustered round a couple of definite themes – an illustration of the poet as social barometer, as James suggested.
It was good to catch up with Helena Nelson, and to meet Eddie Gibbons and Colin Will there, the latter in full highland dress and unquestionably the most smartly dressed man I’ve ever seen at a reading, a consequence of him officiating at Kevin Cadwallender’s wedding the same day (apropos of nothing, Cadwallender is a fantastic surname, isn’t it?). It’s not like anyone else looked too shabby, either, but Colin raised the bar for the rest of us to try to follow. He's a fine bird poet, too, which always gets my vote.
Afterwards, Andy and Rob headed off to do two more readings, and James and I took a more leisurely tour of the city, taking in all manner of architectural and real ale delights, and talking poetry all the way. A huge amount of ground – both literal and literary – was covered, and great fun it was too.
On the way back home yesterday, it struck me that I’ve got umpteen unfinished blog posts that I really need to get cracking on this week. So, coming very soon, expect pieces on The Salt Companion To Lee Harwood and Not The Full Story: Six Interviews With Lee Harwood, an appreciation of the splendid ONE magazine (go and appreciate it yourself in the meantime, at great length), and much more. Claire Crowther and Siriol Troup’s new collections arrived at the weekend, so they’ll feature too, and there are a few other books I’ve been itching to write about. Oh, and there'll be a few thoughts on the poetry business itself, and on selling your collection, in the light of the outstanding success Andy and Rob have had (Andy is already on the third print run of The Ambulance Box - most 'name' poets would be more than a little proud of that).