It's all been a bit frantic at work this last week, so I've not had much chance to reflect upon Sunday's Nine Arches Press reading at the Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham.
It was the first time I'd heard Bobby Parker and Dorothy Lehane read, and both confirmed all the good impressions made by their debut collections from Nine Arches. Dorothy's poems are dense, swirling, exuberant galaxies of words, and all the better for being heard out loud, while Bobby manages to create a crackling tension by virtue of an unshowy, matter-of-fact delivery of startlingly honest material. Tony Williams was, as always, a pleasure to hear - his collection The Midlands would be one of my poetry books of the year.
It was good, too, to catch up with some familiar faces such as Alan Baker, Wayne Burrows, Richard Skinner and Kerry Featherstone (hope the Jason and the Scorchers album is up to expectations), and great to have a chance to browse the bookshop itself. I bought John Harvey's Out Of Silence: New and Selected Poems. He's a hugely overlooked poet (maybe because of his fame as a crime writer), and it's good to see the best of his work in one place.