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Reading at Lewes Needlewriters

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of reading at a Needlewriters event – a quarterly evening of readings, both poetry and prose, at the Needlemakers cafe in Lewes. It’s the only event of its kind I know round here, combining prose and poetry. (Disclaimer: I’m on the organising committee… although still a new girl.)

As the only poet I was slotted in between two wonderful readings by Kerry Evans and Bethan Roberts. Kerry read an extract from her award-winning novel ‘116 words per minute’, which was fast-paced and entertaining, and from Bethan we heard the opening of her latest book Mother Island, a rather creepy psychological thriller, which left me wanting to know what happened next.

Robin Houghton reading at Needlewriters LewesIt’s a warm and supportive audience at Needlewriters, and I really enjoyed my set. It’s a funny process choosing what to read. Although my pamphlet was on sale (and yes I sold a few copies, hoorah!) I only included two poems from it: ‘Ellipsis’ which tends to be popular, so I generally include it, and ‘Closure’ which I read as part of a selection of my corporate workplace-inspired poems. Apart from that, everything else was new-ish and/or unpublished in magazines. Which is one reason why I’m not posting any video or audio footage here: the other is that the quality isn’t great. We did record one poem and although the picture wasn’t sharp (I am, after all PERMANENTLY jinxed when it comes to being filmed) the audio wasn’t bad. So if/when that particular poem gets published I may share it on the blog.

Oh, and I gave my paean to Ronnie O’Sullivan a second outing and it seemed to go down well – tee hee.

Do come to a Needlewriters event if you’re ever able to. It’s run by a small team of writers on (naturally!) a shoestring. This spring sees the publication of our first anthology, with work from many of the poets, novelists, short story writers, playwrights and so forth who’ve read at Needlewriters events over the years. More about that in due course.

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Robin Houghton 2021