Kirkby Lonsdale Poetry Day May 1st 2016


This day with some of my very best poetry friends, was amazing. Not long afterwards I headed down again to Barnard Castle for Judi Sutherland's Nestival (below)




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Chester. Photos Morelle Smith. 

   I read at Chester Poets on national poetry day and enjoyed it very much - we all did. It was quite a long reading followed by three minute readings from many of the audience.
   In the morning we walked right round Chester walls, and saw the beautiful modern Roman garden, and the Amphitheatre, second only to Hadrian's Wall as a Roman site in Britain.

   Half of the amphitheatre is still buried. In some ways it is more impressive like that than if wholly excavated, though it is such an important building that full excavation must surely
come.
   The reading was at the central and chic Commercial Hotel, in the bar with the black chandeliers which you can see o
n the flickr gallery. It was great to meet so many of the poets from Chester.

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  Left: near home, at the Poetry Translation Conference at Stirling University: at Stirling castle with Kopal Gautam. Right: reading at Morden Tower, Newcastle, the best poetry venue in the world.
Above: reading on the boat Lady of the Lake on Loch Katrine in the Trossachs must now count as one of my most memorable venues.
Chester. I visited Chester to read at the Commercial hotel, in Central Chester, on National Poetry Day 2010. the next morning I walked round the walls of chester with Maureen Weldon and Morelle Smith. We also walked in the Roman garden reconstructed just outside a section of the walls.  The amphitheatre was another amazing sight. What a lovely place.

 A remote and wonderful waterfall on a hidden road in central Scotland, not too far from where we live, I visit it at least once a year, usually in spring when the side pools are full of tadpoles. By late June the road is all but impassable for small frogs migrating into the peatlands. I find this and other places in the Scottish countryside extremely inspiring.

I have taken part in many and varied poetry events in Scotland and throughout the UK, and one way of listing some of them is putting up some photos and links. My two most regular events are StAnza and the Callander Poetry Weekend. No one gets to read at StAnza very often, so this photo of myself reading in the Undercroft in 2008 is a special memento.

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On the other hand, everyone who comes to Callander is invited to do a short reading, and even if that wasnt the case, I'm the organiser and host. Last year we were so crowded I didnt read myself. I thought no one would notice but they did, and I won't get away with that again.                   ...  
  I have so many other favourite pics of events, but I'll have to stop somewhere. For recent spectacle,  sound and ambience, it would be hard to beat Gaarriye's reading at Mirrorball in Glasgow in December. Etta Dunn has promised me a photo. Here it is, one of a group of six good pics with Gaarriye and Bill Herbert. And even better, here's a video of one of their poems, very much how they read it in Glasgow..
   

A Backwards Novel Tweet Project. the idea was that the end would imply the beginning, but after a short whiole the method frightened me.

   "You'll be all right here, won't you, Marie?"

  "Fine." Surely he could see that.
  "Write." He probably wouldn't.
  "You'll have to get a mobile phone."
  They headed off down the path to the road, but having decided she belonged here, she wouldn't go with them. They disappeared with a wave.
  She moved in through the open door, and looked back around.
  
Quiet solitude wrapped itself round the place again, as quickly and surely as if it had been waiting at cloud level all the time.

Birds began to move in the hawthorn, chaffinches, a sparrow, a bluetit.
  Well, she was going to make that coffee. They'd forgotten all about it. Unnecessary perhaps, but she liked it, and who could object?
  She thought she could hear the car starting up at the end of the footpath. So that would be them on their way.
 

This room was so much a garden room, you couldn't be in it and not be aware of outdoors. Wherever you looked were the mirrors of windows.

Marie looked down. She fidgeted with the little mats on the table, then walked to the dresser and stacked away the extra cups and saucers.

She could see the trees, those that remained, and in the gap was the field leading down to the river.

She wouldn't draw the curtains yet.

The coffee took a long time to cool down, and the sky took a long time to fade from the pink of sunset.

Marie lived on at the bothy for a good many years after that - and often forgot all about what had led her there.

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I am holding up the backwards novel for reasons of my own, which might well be artistic reasons. I also think it should not include the final (but first) tweet, but as I said I was not going to meddle with the tweets for the moment, I will not remove it for the moment.
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