Last week saw a 2-0 win for Aldershot Town over Maidenhead United, plus two terrific readings in London and Nottingham. In other words, I had a great trip!
I'm very grateful to Declan Ryan for organising the Days of Roses event in London last Thursday, where my personal highlight was Rory Waterman's reading of some excellent new work - I'm really looking forward to his first collection from Carcanet next year. In the meantime, however, I've made do with a copy of the New Poetries V anthology, which features a good selection of his poems.
As for Nottingham, meanwhile, thanks are due to Robin Vaughan-Williams for bringing it together. It was a great opportunity to meet up with a number of other Happenstance poets and see Helena Nelson read for the first time. "Enthralling" would be an understatement! Maria Taylor, who has a full collection forthcoming next year from Nine Arches Press, has posted a review of the evening on her blog here. I'm especially pleased with her remarks about my own slot:
It was great to hear Matthew again, as I so enjoyed his pamphlet ‘Inventing Truth.’ He has a deeply engaging style. He read his poem ‘Instructions for Coming Home’ at the beginning and end of his reading. The perspective altered when he mentioned at the end that the poem was written from the point of view of a widower, the preparation of a simple meal is given a certain gravity by the final line ‘Now confront the day, bite by bite.’
These readings have certainly given me the taste for more - I love the feeling of bringing Inventing Truth to life for an audience - and I hope to take part in further U.K. events in 2012.
The poems in “Contrapasso” find succour in nature as they address themes of loss and survival, painful memories and striving to reach peace. Alexandra Föss...