Where is November’s blog you ask? A very good question. I have few excuses that would stand up to a good Paddington Bear Stare, so let’s go with I got so totally absorbed in accounts for my tax return that 17 days of December slipped by before I realised.
That said, I have been fairly busy. Now let’s see. We had been Hockley Hustled last time, so I need to tell you how marvellous Poetry Cocktail was over in Junkyard, South of the River. Gail Webb hosts this bi-annual event, and this time it was headlined marvellously by Leanne Moden and Sue Allen, both great Nottingham poets. Gail managed to encourage lots of open mic, including a couple of first timers. It’s always great to see new people getting up on stage and how supportive and encouraging poetry audiences are.
The end of October saw the launch of the latest NTU Anthology And, What Do They Call You? A fabulous collection I had the privilege of reading before it went to print. The authors tales, poems, and scripts all examine different aspects of Self. Well worth the read, and available from Five Leaves Bookshop now.
Aside from my new boiler – which although I think is very exciting, possibly less so for you, reader, the next most exciting thing at the start of November was But, I Know This City, organised by Excavate as part of the Being Human festival. 112 readers were in venues around Nottingham playing the part of Bryan, and treating audiences to intimate readings of BS Johnson’s unbound novel. We even had visits from BS Johnson’s immediate family.
November ended for me, after watching some great poetry at Derby Poetry Festival, organised by the lovely Trevor Wright and Jamie Thrasivoulou, with a visit to the Our Past, Our present, Our Future symposium, organised by the Unesco City Of Literature. A really useful event hearing from and networking with ‘ professionals from heritage, culture, the arts and education to hold a conversation about the challenges of reach, engagement and innovation. ‘
I’ll just leave you with a reminder that you can catch Mina and I performing dual-language poetry as Two Seda, as well as reading some Hafez, at Shab el Yalda, Winter Solstice event at Peggy’s Skylight on Saturday 21st December. Doors at 12, entertainment begins at 1pm, all ages welcome.