Friday, 22 August 2008

Shore Poets, May, 2008

I see Andy Phillips has mentioned my reading at the Shore Poets (Edinburgh) in his blog Tonguefire
and then links it back to my blog. Oh dear, I have since deleted that item. It seemed narcissistic to mention one's own reading! But then to hell with false modesty! What is a blog for if you can't mention your own events. But it's for others to comment.

From what I can remember of my deleted entry, I think all I said was that it was an initial disappointment not to be reading with Kate Clanchy(one of my favourite poets) - who had pulled out, but that this was swiftly rectified since Alan Gillis who read in her place, was absolutely brilliant. I was not familiar with his work before but it is exuberant, witty, fast-paced and bubbling over with energy. He told me he was influenced by Ciaran Carson. He helped run the Seamus Heaney centre up in Belfast but now lectures at Edinburgh University in the English dept, but also on the Creative Writing post grad course.
Alan and I swopped notes on Dublin - his first public reading was in the Skerries at an event including Michael Longley which Alan was recommended for by Brendan Kennelly (my former tutor and first and continuing mentor). We also swopped notes on other poets we both know. So it was nice to read with such a terrific poet and also find some connections.

A pleasure to read with Ken Cockburn too - whose workshop with Vikki Feaver I attended a few years ago on first arrival in Edinburgh. A terrific workshop too.

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