StAnza

Well, I have a connection, but what I don’t have is time. Yesterday (Thursday) was excellent, starting for me with Jim Carruth’s poetry walk in bright sunshine, with perfectly chosen poems. The Past & Present session with Tom Leonard and Adrian Mitchell was electric, and had a packed house. The Poetry and Conflict reading gave us all the chance to hear Brian Turner’s harrowing yet humane poems based on his experiences as a US soldier in Iraq, and Sarah Maguire followed up with poems on Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Annie Freud and Tom Leonard’s read next – I was very impressed with both. I introduced the main evening reading – Penny Shutle and John Burnside. I think I was more nervous doing the intro than I would have been if I’d been reading The evening finished with a poetry and jazz jam, which was a hoot. I intended reading a poem about clarinet playing in my youth, and I’d sorted it all out with the band’s clarinettist before I went on. Then when I was called to the mike he’d disappeared. Fortunately, he reappeared just as mysteriously, and it went well.

More tomorrow.

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About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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2 Responses to StAnza

  1. Rachel Fox says:

    The Past & Present was excellent – so glad I made it to that. It was a fantastic blend of misery and joy!Raman Mundair’s lunchtime reading/show was great too (despite absent food..not the first time the food has been missing or late at a StAnza lunchtime event in my experience…I think they should give up on catering, personally). She sang her opening section which was just gorgeous and she had a real variety to her work. Her poem about racist killings in London brought real tears to my eyes.Also – don’t miss the poetry films in the Byre conference room. They are fascinating – not those awkward, posey arty films you get in the dca etc but really engaging poems on film…I liked the Larkin one especially (even with Bob Geldof reading it…) oh, and the ‘just say no to family values’ one.Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

  2. apprentice says:

    Yes it was a great few days. The Penelope Shuttle masterclass was wonderful – with Annie Freud in the audience chipping in.And the two Past and Presents I attended were also highlights, especially Janice Galloway on Lear, which was nothing short of a great performance. And Tess Gallagher on Carver will live in my heart for a very long time.The whole metaphor of being locked out of one’s own life has such resonance for so many people on so many levels. My thanks to all the unsung heros who put Stanza on.

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