I promised to tell you about the poetry reading I gave. It was an interesting experience. I learned how to ignore people, and that’s always good; I’ll try doing it to the Hub.
There is a place called Walthew House here in Stockport, It supports people with sight and hearing problems. They asked me to do a reading at one of their lunch groups. After some discussion over the phone with Ben, the group organiser, we decided to go with my Apartheid collection. I spent an evening preparing for the reading and a month worrying about it.
I shouldn’t have. The group was lovely: warm, friendly, inquiring.
It was the Others…
The lunch group sat at the front of the hall; the Others sat at the back. And talked. And talked and talked and talked. They talked over light poems, dark poems, black and white poems, poems about witchdoctors’ penises and poems about death, murder, bombs and violence (a lot of those).
Fortunately, I had a microphone. Unfortunately, I also had a folder and needed to turn pages regularly. Ben had provided a table but I like to stand when I read, to project. After some serious folder wobbles I had to put it on the table and look down at what I was reading. Looking down while reading aloud is a dreadful way to perform, but I figured the one bunch couldn’t see me and the Others didn’t care to. I tuned the Others out and earned my free lunch over the fifty minutes I wittered on about me and my life and the male genitalia I have met.
I invited questions and there were quite a few from the lunch group. We talked more over lunch. The Others did not eat. I think they may have been the people who brought the lunch group to Walthew House. Their attitude appeared to be, if poetry be the food of driving, talk on.
Despite my complaints, I enjoyed the experience. The group was warm and welcoming and the microphone was on full volume. I’m going back in October.
Now I have to prepare for Saturday: I’m running two poetry workshops at my church Fun Day. No microphones; no lunch; and an open gazebo. I must be mad.