A busy couple of days: Monday evening saw the launch of the Brighton Stanza anthology, a labour of love for editors Antony Mair, Miriam Patrick and Andie Davidson. Andie’s company, the Bramley Press, published the book and it looks excellent, though I say so myself. Twenty six poets are in the anthology, and nine of them read at the launch event at the Lord Nelson in Brighton.
The room was packed and we heard a good variety of poetry (performance, page, mystic), basically I think everyone had a good time. I had a nasty headache creep up towards the end of the first half which thankfully disappeared after I’d stuffed a bag of crisps. (This slightly did for my ‘fast’ day but what the heck.) What a lot of poetry love. The much-missed Jo Grigg would have been thrilled. I’m proud to be stepping into her shoes as Stanza Rep, but what a loss.
Then yesterday what should I see on Facebook but an alert that Hilda Sheehan was in Tunbridge Wells last night reading at the Kent & Sussex Poetry Soc. So how could I not hot-foot it along? I first met Hilda at a Swindon workshop, one of so many events and projects she organises and is involved in. The indefatigable Hilda has a lovely reading style and her poetry is clever, entertaining and just a tad surreal. You can’t help but get pulled into her orbit of warmth and goodwill.
Hilda read from her latest collection The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood (Cultured Llama) and shook up the good poets of Tunbridge Wells with her tales of hornets with men’s heads, loaves of bread slicing up women and seals living in the bath. Nice one!