Velvety-Rich and Swaying With Sadness

national poetry day

I always enjoy National Poetry Day events and was pleased to perform in Gy Central Library as McCarthy and Moon with Pat McCarthy. Pat’s fluid and open style of playing is working wonderfully well with my writing and the more we work together the more we find a warm symbiosis between the words and the music.  Because Pat is a confident and seasoned improviser he encourages me to allow space in the delivery of the poems , freeing them more and more and finding new ways to present them.  It’s exciting.  I’m particularly encouraged to work increasingly in this way following a positive review of Fish Tales in Jazzwise which describes my delivery as velvety-rich. A member of the audience yesterday described me as swaying with sadness when I performed one especially elegiac piece. I’m quite happy to be both velvety-rich and swaying with sadness if I am touching the audience with my words.

As well as performing yesterday I hosted what proved to be a very moving and engaging poetry read-around at Riverhead Coffee in Grimsby, a great cafe with an open and welcoming proprietor who is very keen to support arts events.  Along with the Franklin College Young Voices we had seasoned poets Gordon Wilson and Steve Meek. One of our Young Voices read her work for the very first time and it was raw, honest and powerful.  It’s easy to forget when you’ve read at a lot of events and performed widely that the first time is terrifying. I think we created a supportive and appreciative environment for this young woman and I hope she’ll read for us again soon.  Our Young Voices project is moving forwards at a good pace and I am sure La Luna will be publishing a powerful anthology later this autumn – and in time for Christmas.

This week I was pleased to be heard as a strident and unruly woman on my good friend and fine academic Ellen Wright’s podcast. Catch it here and listen to us discussing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the Hulu adaptation and our take on feminism in the wider culture. Happy listening!

Next week I’ll be bringing exciting news regarding the development of GGCC, the Great Grimsby Community Choir. In the meantime, cocktails, the annual flu jab and harvest festival require my imminent attention.

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