Monday 10 June 2013

Reading Poetry Festival

This last week Reading held its very first poetry festival with poets from far and wide joining discussion panels and giving readings.

I was only able to attend on the weekend, being otherwise jet-lagged, so I missed an apparently very wonderful lecture by key note speaker Iain Sinclair. Sadly it was not recorded, never mind! I did hear his poetry on Saturday evening (along with that of Mark Ford, below), even if he described Reading as having 'the stink of ignorance'. I think he was joking, or at least I hope he was.

I enjoyed listening to interesting debates on politics and poetry with Leontia Flynn and poetry and translation with Dutch poet Esther Jansma, and there was poetry in Italian too from Maurizio Cucchi. Dorothea Smartt (below) injected a great deal of energy into the proceedings, so there was no graveyard shift on Saturday afternoon in her session on poetry and community.

Well done Reading University for organizing it, oh and for asking me to teach a workshop on Sunday morning, which was enjoyable for me and, thankfully, the participants. More next year please!

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