Friday night, I was at Leicester Poetry Society for a reading by Alex Pryce, a young Northern Ireland-born poet who’s currently a student at Leicester University, as well as running PoetCasting in her spare time.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, not really having heard any of it before, and I’m sure she’s a name you’ll hear a lot more of in years to come. She seems to have a very sensible attitude, though – she’s in no hurry to rush a book or even pamphlet out, even though what we heard suggested she has a lot of strong material.
She also played several poets from the PoetCasting site, and as it happened they were all (with the exception of Milner Place), poets I hadn’t yet got round to listening to. I particularly liked the truly extraordinary Hannah Silva, and Richard O’Brien, but it was all just a reminder that it’s a great resource, and a good way of getting a taste of new poets that you can then go off and read.
On Saturday, I was at Coton Manor, in Northamptonshire, for Charles Lauder’s Trees and the Imagination workshop. The fog barely lifted all day, but it didn’t really matter. We discussed a lot of tree poems*, walked in the woods, and wrote for a while ourselves, and I left with the makings of a poem that I’ve been trying to write for a while now. Most importantly of all, the carrot cake was exquisite.
For the rest of the weekend, I wrote a bit more (although not nearly enough), and read. The latest issue of Blackbox Manifold is now up – have a browse.
* One of the poems in the little booklet that we didn’t get round to discussing was John Ashbery’s Some Trees. I’m not usually a huge fan of Ashbery (or at least, he’s my least favourite of the New York poets), but I did enjoy reading this several times yesterday. I should probably re-read a bit more of his work.