On Monday, I was in Norwich for the launch of Helen Ivory and Martin Figura's new collections, The Breakfast Machine and Whistle, respectively.
The launch reading was really excellent - varied and well-paced and with a couple of musical interludes, and Norwich Arts Centre is a fine venue. I've been enjoying both books since, and although they're very different in their subject matter, I think they share something in that they manage to wring the maximum effect out of seemingly plain, everyday language. I'll be posting full reviews once I've digested them properly, but in the meantime both are well worth checking out.
It was lovely to catch up with Helen and Martin again, and also to meet and chat with a number of other fine poets, like Penelope Shuttle and George Szirtes.
George has a fine piece about the event over at his blog. He makes some excellent points, I think, about the literary world generally. He also touches on something Martin and he mentioned on the night - what a great place Norwich is for writers of all kinds. Various different scenes seem to overlap and mix, and there's an atmosphere of mutual support. It might have something to do with Norwich's geographical position, I suppose, but whatever, it's refreshing, and sort of inspiring.