"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
spent the afternoon in casualty with a possible heart murmur, but he manfully went on to deliver his reading. Disaster averted, we thought. Then a tired and emotional lady leapt up onto the stage and read one of his own poems for him. A lesser man would have keeled over on the spot. The event closed NPD with a flourish, and launched the Bluecoat’s promising Chapter and Verse festival. Now we start preparing and sweating over National Poetry Day 2009 – theme Heroes and Heroines.
The Forward Poetry Prizes were awarded this week, with yet another small disaster in tow. The first collection prize went to Kathryn Simmonds: the main prize to Scottish poet (and MND sufferer, an illness familiar to this blog) Mick Imlah: the best single poem to Don Paterson: and the prize for Fainting at the Ceremony and Being Taken Away in an Ambulance to Simon Thirsk of Bloodaxe. It was a pleasure to retreat to the abode of small friend Tilly
(see below – no small children were harmed in the making of this image).
Mixing with the literati is clearly dangerous so at a conference in the New Art Exchange, Nottingham, I was relieved to meet James McPherson, a tightrope walker/ stilt walker/ circus type geezer with the Artizani street theatre company. As we are gathering ideas for Fourpenny Circus this was a fantastic opportunity. The poor man agreed that we can come and see him fly through the air with the greatest of ease. Let’s hope the poetry curse doesn’t follow us and cause another small disaster…