"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
After a brief period of winter torpor, National Poetry Day swung back into action this week. As NPD co-ordinator I visited the Arts Council offices in London, exchanged ideas for education work with the bright folk at Children & Arts and met movers and shakers in Liverpool, Capital of Culture 2008, where some of our events will be held in October. Things are really kicking off, and we are looking forward to a great NPD 08.
Whilst in That London I joined the wonderful library of the Wellcome Institute opposite Euston Station. I have a real crush on this Institute – a fantastic, free-entry collection of all things medical, which takes a thoroughly creative approach to collection and curation. It incorporates art, anthropology and even erotica in its displays and the cafe has the prettiest cakes in London. Visit if you can – especially if you’re catching a train from Euston, 2 minutes away.
I kept travelling, this time in my ‘newly-published poet’ hat. I read in Chester with the splendid poet Gill McEvoy, and also in Reading at the monthly Poetry Cafe hosted by A F Harrold, one of the country’s finest and funniest performance poets. Kate Noakes, whose deep and watery poetry can be found in her own new book Ocean to Interior, put me up. The next day I was in Derby checking out a new open mike night at the Big Blue cafe – lots of talent but none more talented than Chris Ballard and Alex Blood, whose transcendent music and spoken word kept me dreaming for hours….
Easter Sunday finally saw me sitting still – incapable of doing anything else after being fed vast quantities of chocolate – and helping small friends Orla and Isobel to celebrate the day by making pyramidal chickens, a sort of fabric-stuffed-with-lentils affair. Apologies to their parents for strewing the kitchen floor so liberally with escaped pulses….