I had a great evening at the Leicester Shindig, reading with Richard Skinner, Maria Taylor and Marion Tracy and a host of open mic-ers. Maria and Marion were both launching splendid new books. Maria's Instructions for Making Me is published by Happenstance and Marion's Dreaming of our Better Selves by Vanguard Editions. I tried out a couple of new poems from the sequences on place and ownership of place that I'm working on, which happily chimed with the strong theme of place which emerged throughout the evening.
This year's Free Verse Poetry Book Fair attracted over 600 poetry lovers. I find just being in the hall full of dedicated small press publishers really encouraging - so much time, effort and personal investment dedicated to the service of poetry can't fail to impress. And it's a great opportunity to catch up with friends and acquaintances. I volunteered this year so didn't get to see any of the readings or panels, except the ones I was helping at but had a wonderful time, including being relief cover on a couple of publishers' stalls - Clinic and Burning Eye - and selling some books for them.
What I'm reading:
The two new books mentioned above, of course, along with Heath by Penelope Shuttle and John Greening, a gift from Nine Arches Press, who co-hosted the Shindig reading.