Friday, 12 November 2010

It was a dark and stormy night...

...but that didn't seem to deter many from making the trip to last night's New Walk launch reading at the University of Leicester, part of Literary Leicester.

There was a really good turnout, which meant that I was a bit on the nervous side when I got up to kick off the readings. Lovely lecture theatre to read in, though, with really good acoustics. It's always nice reading first, too, because it means you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the event.

I must admit I didn't know all that much of Grevel Lindop's poetry before last night, although he's a very familiar name as a perceptive reviewer. But anyway, I enjoyed his reading, and bought his Selected Poems later to bring myself up to speed.

Alice Oswald, on the other hand, is someone I've read avidly in the past, but even so I was surprised by just how surefooted her set was (I was probably expecting more of a stereotypical floaty, vague 'nature' poet). And what a great reading voice!

I was surprised, too, that the highlight was the new material - from her forthcoming 'selective' translation of The Iliad - rather than the stuff I know well.

Of course, readings are also a great place to put faces to names, so it was lovely to meet the team behind the magazine, including co-editor Rory Waterman. They've done a really superb job, and it sounds like Issue Two will build on and surpass the debut.

Among others I chatted with were DA Prince and Roy Marshall, who has two finely honed poems in Issue One. Oh, and a friend that I've barely seen since university showed up, too - turns out he lives and works in Leicester. A good night all round.

And finally, my setlist:
Prelude for Glass Harmonica
The Meeting Place
Summer Breeze
The Limits
West Leicester Lullaby

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