Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Independent Press Day, Leicester

I'd like to congratulate Ross Bradshaw and the staff at De Montfort University for organizing the excellent Independent Press Day last Saturday. There was a good turnout, and business was brisk; I actually made a small profit, which is probably a first for me at a book fair. I was pleased to meet various poetical persons, including George Ttoouli, Mark Goodwin, Simon Perrill, Matt Nun and Jane Commane, and I finally unmasked the mysterious blogger Kathz (whose identity I can't reveal here, of course). I only attended two events, as I had a stall to run, but they were both excellent. John Lucas's talk on the origin of sayings that his mother used to use was endlessly fascinating. But the highlight for me was the launch of Cleaves Journal, with a reading by Jennifer Cooke (the editor of this issue), Mark Goodwin, Simon Perril and Dan O’Donnell-Smith. I liked Jennifer Cooke's nervy delivery which suited her disjunctive and witty poetry. I've been following Mark Goodwin's work for some time (having reviewed his collection 'Else'), and it was interesting to hear how the he used line-breaks when reading - making them into pauses - and how he emphasised the alliterative nature of the verse. Simon Perril also turned out to be an excellent reader, or rather performer, of his work, and on the strength of his reading I bought his pamphlet 'A Clutch of Odes', which I hope to be reviewing shortly on this blog. Dan O'Donnell Smith was the youngest reader, and read for the shortest time, which was a shame, as I'd like to have heard more of his process-driven poetry.

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