Another Seven Towers event at lunchtime in Chapters Bookshop in Parnell Street where Ross Hattaway and Eamonn Lynskey read from their works.
Ross went first with some from his ‘old’ collection (‘The Gentle Art of Rotting’) and a sample from his forthcoming ‘new’ collection , the title of which he has not yet decided. It may even be called ‘The Untitled Collection’ he says. Always joking, Ross! (Or is he? Sounds like a damned good title). He read ‘What It Is to Be Late’, ‘Rag for the Left’ and ‘ The First Law of Robotics’, the last-named being such a ‘manly’ poem that is bound to make some male listeners feel a bit inadequate. ( Moi?– Never!). He then gave us some new stuff, one of which ends intriguingly ‘…walking the house in the morning, just to stay alive”. Then some Tankas and ‘Vicar Street Dream’, a poem inspired by a visit to see Jack L perform. Finally he gave a poem from John Sexton’s book ‘Vortex’ (Doghouse Books).
Winston Churchill, when he had to step in to take over in any emergency always represented himself as taking on the job as a matter of duty, whereas in reality he did it because he was a life-long exhibitionist and would leap at the chance of any bit of limelight. Well, I’m the same and when one of the poets today didn’t make it, who else into the breech but me (as a matter of duty of course!). And since the airwaves were recently so full of the bravery of the Chilean miners (and brave men indeed they were) I gave a few from my collection ‘And Suddenly the Sun Again’ which were poems on the theme of miners and mining. My father was a miner in Lancashire and in Wales for most of his working lifetime and my poems ‘Exiles’, ‘Times I hear of Lives Lost Underground’ and ‘Honister Crag’ try to tell something of his story, and the story of miners generally. I finished off with that poem in praise of those who go to poetry readings to support a poet they know personally, even though they think he’s daft (Moi?– Never!). That poem? ‘His Despairing Friends’… Everyone pities the poet…
I believe everyone enjoyed themselves today. I certainly did! Thanks again to Chapters Bookshop: great hosts. And to Sarah: great MC!