Sue Guiney's poetry collection, Her Life Collected. There were several highlights to the event at the Lumen United Reform Church and Community Centre - the first being hearing Sue read a number of poems from the book, some very funny indeed, since she had decided to stay away from the "divorce, death and doom" poems for the night! The second thing that made it a very special event was finally meeting up with our blog friend Lauri Kubuitsile, her of the Thoughts from Botswana blog. Sue, Lauri and I had conducted a three-way blog chat about writing over the past few months, and meeting Lauri was just like carrying that chat over from the blogsphere into real life! And continue it the next day wandering around London (well really from one cafe to another one a few steps down the road...)
The third interesting aspect of Sue's launch was that it was also an open mic night, which the Lumen centre holds regularly, and I decided to take the plunge and read one of my poems for the first time. I'm quite used to reading my stories, although that was extremely scary the first few times. But poetry? With line breaks? Ok, it's a 6-line poem - which will be published in Alba shortly, otherwise I would never have had the guts to presume to read amongst the poets. But I was really worried I'd screw up the line breaks somehow, I'd read it all wrong, even though I wrote it. Mad, eh?
Well, it went fine. Six lines, it was all over pretty quickly! And I was glad to have done it. Lauri also read, as did Sarah Salway, so short story writers were well-represented. I still wouldn't call myself a poet, but one day, maybe...
Talking about Sarah, who I had a lovely time with in London, chatting about the upcoming Arvon short story course we will be teaching in May....She and I - together with fabulous writers Elizabeth Baines, Susannah Rickards and Catherine Smith - are reading at Jay Merill's Salt Publishing short fiction event at the Wise Words festival in Spitalfields, London, on March 16th. See Sarah's blog for the info.