It’s the day for trying to raise the profile of poetry in the awareness of the general public, and many poets, publishers and others have engaged in a variety of activities with this aim. Of course, others don’t, and this is not to criticise them, but my feeling is that if there’s a big publicity wave out there we should try to ride it.
This morning I introduced local poet and painter Anna Davis on my Bookshelf spot on East Coast FM, and I’m going to spend the afternoon trying to finish the next two Calder Wood Press poetry pamphlets to send to the printers next week. Yesterday, I got James McGonigal’s new biography of Edwin Morgan, Beyond the Last Dragon (Eddie’s characterisation of his cancer). On Channel Four News last night Jonathan Pryce read an unpublished poem by Ted Hughes about the last day in the life of Sylvia Plath. I missed the broadcast for reasons I’ll talk about later, but I saw and heard a clip from it on Facebook this morning. I found it painful and very moving – it brought a tear to my eye. The emotions felt and eloquently expressed in the poem struck hard and raw.
Tomorrow I’m off to Montrose with Anna Dickie, where she’ll join Morgan Downie and Juliet Wilson for a reading organised by Rachel Fox. I’m delighted that Rachel asked me to put this Calder Wood Press showcase together. I’m very proud of the authors I publish, and of the books I’ve made with them.
On Saturday I’m manning a stall at the first Fife Bookfest in Glenrothes (details here from Rob Mackenzie), where I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends.
Last night I was in Linlithgow for a reunion of the friends who went on the Barcelona trip last month. It was great fun, and several friends there asked me for copies of the poem I wrote there, and which was read on the bus to the airport. I won’t post it here, because I’m going to send it to a mag very soon, but whether or not it goes in a mag, I’d like it in my next collection, now beginning to be planned.