"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
You know those signs that you are getting older? The summer seems to end very quickly, the policemen look younger and the meetings for Ledbury Poetry Festival come round much sooner than you expected… Well, perhaps the latter is
no surprise, as I’m helping to programme it next year. More of that another time. For now, it was a good reason to make a journey to Herefordshire, past the hop fields and heavy-laden orchards, for a meeting about the festival’s future development. We need more people to come and enjoy poetry with us in July: and like any arts organisation we need to keep one eye on the ever-diminishing arts budget, with the hungry political wolves circling us, waiting to snap up the sick, the halt and the lame….
National Poetry Day is definitely growing closer. Only three weeks to go till our national celebration and the website is fleshing out nicely, with blogs soon to come from (amongst others) Kate Fox and Martin Figura. My other great project of the moment is Bugged: I have been poring over the manuscript to spot bloopers and typos. There will, of course, be one immensely important one that I don’t spot, hidden in the writing of someone particularly likely to take offence. Hey ho.
I had to forego a friend’s wedding for other commitments, dammit – but on the way I did manage a quick stop at the VW Vanfest – a sort of tribal gathering of the Little Camper Folk. The sun shone, it was properly hot and the summer seemed to have stretched a little bit. I’ve decided to invest in one of these (left) – a sort of collapsible garret for writing poetic masterpieces in – and if I can find a few spare thousands, I’m sure I shall have one before I’m sixty.
The week ahead brings lots of NPD work, an afternoon with lovely librarians and a day of work with a splendid mentee, whom I am sure I can teach nothing. I’m also planning sessions at Manchester Metropolitan University’s non-metropolitan, non-Mancunian campus at Crewe, where I’ll be teaching a creative writing module this autumn.
Before the week got under way, with a friend not unknown to these pages, I did my bit to harvest the summer sunshine – there was no mist, but plenty of mellow fruitfulness, as we collected blackberries (and scratches) for a good cause. If they don’t go mouldy as usual, then three bottles of blackberry vodka will be ready for consumption by Christmas. Ho ho ho….