I’ve been away in Cardiff for the last three days, so I’ve got a bit behind with what I intended to blog. I caught up with some old friends, I ate a lot, I drank too much, and I did a lot of good birding around Kenfig NNR, Newport Wetlands, Ogmore and Southerndown. The latter two were places we went to on holiday every year when I was a kid (my grandparents lived in Bridgend), so I’ve got a big soft spot for them. I’ll return to them later in the week – they figure in a post about pub signs I've been meaning to write for a while.
But while I remember, I want to talk about last Tuesday’s Poetry Bites, at the Kitchen Garden Café in King’s Heath. Let’s start by saying it’s a great venue – intimate and easy to project to when you’re reading, but not at all cramped. The food’s very nice, too – chips just like my mum used to make.
Most importantly, there was a large and very attentive audience – what more can you ask for as a poet? I read two 15-minute slots, mainly from hydrodaktulopsychicharmonica, but including a few older and newer poems too. I sold quite a few books, and I sat back and enjoyed some really excellent open mic slots, including one young man who delivered a long poem entirely from memory at breakneck speed. Normally, that's not a good thing, but this absolutely demanded such a delivery, and very impressive it was.
I haven't got the dates to hand at the moment (more info is available here), but the March guest will be Ira Lightman, followed by Clare Best in May, both really fine poets. It was actually as quick and easy to get to from Coalville as central Nottingham, so I'll certainly get alongf to future events.