30 July 2023

July ramblings

July's been a busy old month. First, there was the premiere of my brand-new "Flight Patterns" commission at Didsbury Arts Festival, as mentioned previously. Completely sold out, we couldn't have fitted anyone else in the room – and there were even pictures of some feathered friends on the wall. Plus, the performance, complete with birdsong and church bells and Ladybird books and poetry map, and the new sequence of 12 poems seemed to go down well, with lots of lovely comments.

Partway through the month, I was to be found at Saul Hay Gallery interviewing Dave Haslam at his sold-out event promoting his new Confingo book, Adventure Everywhere: Pablo Picasso's Paris Nightlife. We chatted art, poetry, records, cancel culture, Montmartre versus Montparnasse, hidden histories, place as character and much more besides. Again, lots of lovely comments. And I remembered to wear my cool heels and Barbara Hepworth earrings (we were in an art gallery, after all).

Then, a hop, skip and a jump up to Edinburgh, and straight out of the car and into Portobello Books to hear from Kirsty Logan, then on Monday ourselves (me and David Gaffney) reading in the lovely Typewronger Books (also well worth seeking out, this gem at the top end of Leith Walk), alongside Edinburgh-based poets Vik Shirley and Nicky Melville. Here's the blurb: "In a journey through both poetry and prose, from the joyful Oulipian and conceptual, through to film noir and moribund miniatures, whether surreal-absurd, dark, uplifting or comic, play is at the core of all of this writing." Lots of lovely comments once more! David and I shall be hosting Vik and Nicky in Manchester in the near future – watch this space.