Somehow I managed to arrive too late for a seat at the Elephant & Castle yesterday evening (despite having a commute of approximately 30 seconds) but really enjoyed the atmosphere in the packed function room. Poets galore were joined by friends and neighbours for the joint launch of Bone Monkey by Janet Sutherland published by Shearsman and Closing Time by Jeremy Page, published by Pindrop Press.
The poets were introduced briefly by Maria Jastrzębska (Janet) and Jo Hemmant (Jeremy). I’m fortunate enough to be in a workshopping group with both Maria and Janet and am always so grateful both for their feedback on my own work but also for the opportunity to hear and see what they’re working on. Consequently, a few of the poems in Bone Monkey are familiar to me – I also heard Janet read from the book at the Needlewriters earlier in April, and I almost always appreciate a poem more for having heard it read more than once. Jeremy is the publisher of the Frogmore Press / Frogmore Papers, going now for 31 years, and he’s been kind enough to publish a couple of my poems in the magazine and the anthology Poems from the Old Hill. I’ve met Jo, who runs Pindrop Press, a few times, including when we read together at Tunbridge Wells library, an event organised by Abegail Morley, who was also there last night.
Candles, canapes, poetry and friends … great stuff. But alas, I had to make my apologies and leave before the end. I think I’m so fried with work at the moment. I haven’t had a chance yet to even open Closing Time, but I’m hoping to do so over the weekend when I may get some breathing/poetry space.