A little like pictures of people dancing, photos of poetry readings aren't the most exciting, but I like this one cos it's got all four of us on stage. Naomi looking a little startled at what we're doing to her poem - the three on right of the stage are Mouthtrap riffing off and mashing up her poem as a cute segue from her reading to Mouthtrap's slot.
It was a subdued couple of numbers from us (probably because we'd had a bewildered reception on Sunday in Hebden Bridge), but beautifully paced and measured, lots of space and listening - by the audience as well as us. Lovely lovely. We were very pleased. As was I.
So that was the icing on an already fat, cream-slathered cake of an evening. A massive turn out (standing room only when Beth set the evening under way with two tunes) with people I'd not seen in years turning up, and people who hadn't seen each other in years catching up, and other people coming from all corners of the north to see people they'd never met. And everyone willing to participate in Steve Lewis's rendering of a couple of poems of mine, as requested. Bravo bravo for audience participation!
Between Beth and Steve was Naomi Foyle, who treated us to a short rendition of Grace of the Gamblers, a ballad of the pirate Grace O'Malley, as well as a bit of football (in a poem) and a trip around Sefton Park, lavishing us with the diversity of her new collection, The World Cup. Me too. Surrounded on stage by those who have been so important in my journey as poet and performer. Happy with my own selection that avoided all poems that might get me blubbering, although that didn't stop others ...
It was a gorgeously hot June evening, so the Maritime Museum's jetty was a brilliant outdoor space to spill out onto before and after the immaculately judged set. I couldn't have asked for it to be any different or better.
What support. What enthusiasm. What artistry. A great send off for the book. Bon Voyage! Good luck, you!
"It was such a lovely launch - I loved how all the different readers / performers fitted together... as important to you and your work and I LOVED Mouthtrap. I couldn't imagine what it was going to be like, but you all looked so happy and playful and pretty up there it made me smile. It sounded great and worked so well against Naomi's poem as well.
I want my book mouthtrapping now! I could have listened to you for loads and loads longer."
"We had a lovely time. Well-organised, and a showcase not only for poetic and musical skill and depth, but lots of warmth and charm."
"It'll look good to say on the CV to say that there were people queueing outside the door!"
"A great launch and lovely people."