I'd like to thank all the people who made it along to my readings last week in Coventry and Uppingham. You all contributed to making the evenings so enjoyable. Special thanks are particularly due to Antony Owen for organising Nightblue Fruit and to Matt Merritt for helping me out with all the two-voiced poems in Uppingham. As the latter mentions in his kind review on Polyolbion, it was a pretty unusual poetry reading!
The Coventry event was held at a lovely venue (Taylor John's house) at the city's Canal Basin. It showed off much of what's so special about the U.K.'s thriving live poetry scene: everyone engaged throughout the open mic slots, before giving me a great welcome for my reading. I even sold a good number of books!
As for Uppingham, it was lovely to combine poetry with wine in such an unpretentious way. Ben and Emma from Bat and Bottle Wine Merchants provided the ideal platform and audience. All of them were so open to the poems in spite of not being regular readers of verse! I was delighted to discover "in situ" that Tasting Notes does hit the mark in this respect. Its aim is to be accessible without being facile, to engage with people and surprise them. Suffice to say, the after-event wine tasting also went on well into the night!
Derek Walcott, poet and playwright of Saint Lucia, died on 17 March at the age of 87. I think I recall my first Derek Walcott poem. It was 'The Season o...