Poetry Reading At Walthew House

11 Sep
Here's how I could have reacted

Here’s how I could have reacted

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.

Here's how I did react

Here’s how I did react

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.

Here's how my audience reacted

Here’s how my audience reacted

26 Responses to “Poetry Reading At Walthew House”

  1. slpmartin September 11, 2013 at 17:10 #

    Glad that the overall experience was good….sounds like a fine charity organization according to the website information.


  2. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com September 11, 2013 at 17:51 #

    Your a better poetry reader than I am, Gunga Din – and much braver.


    • The Laughing Housewife September 11, 2013 at 19:51 #

      😀 It gets easier, the more I do it. Joining Write Out Loud was a huge help – I read at least two poems once a month in front of a small but friendly audience.


  3. adinparadise September 11, 2013 at 19:19 #

    So glad it went well, Tilly. Good luck with the next two. 🙂 Hope it doesn’t storm that day.


  4. Al September 11, 2013 at 19:43 #

    You have the patience of a saint. My inner curmudgeon would not have tolerated the over-talking.


  5. laurieanichols September 11, 2013 at 20:07 #

    I am so proud of you!! I knew that you were going to be a huge hit 🙂 I would have been distracted by the witchdoctor’s penises and been blushing, stuttering and definitely giggling.


  6. Rorybore September 11, 2013 at 20:36 #

    Oh, that would have drove me nuts – of all the nerve. You are a good and kind woman! Happy to hear that it went well…..and no one was injured in the process. 🙂


    • The Laughing Housewife September 11, 2013 at 20:39 #

      Good job you weren’t there: I know you’d have my back. And their fronts, sides, heads… 😀


  7. bluebee September 11, 2013 at 21:45 #

    I don’t have the courage to deliver a reading of my poetry, Others or not. But I probably would have asked one of the Others to come up and read one of the poems to see how they handled trying to deliver over a din. I have zero tolerance for rudeness, and lack British restraint. Well done, Tilly.


  8. colonialist September 11, 2013 at 22:06 #

    You , madam, are a glutton! (For punishment, I mean!) 🙂
    Bravely done!


  9. Three Well Beings September 12, 2013 at 05:42 #

    I am so delighted to hear that you did your reading! Well done…I’m sure it was! I have never understood “talkers” in the middle of a performance of any kind. I find it happens almost wherever I go, so you needn’t feel too singled out. Last month at the Hollywood Bowl with major celebrity performers there were people all around me continuing to talk to each other rather than listen. i’ll never really understand that! And I’m sure during your reading no one was sleeping. LOL!


    • The Laughing Housewife September 12, 2013 at 08:05 #

      I don’t understand when people pay for things – cinema, theatre, etc – and then talk all the way through it. What a waste of money.


      • Grannymar September 13, 2013 at 07:22 #

        Talk eat and generally distract all around them for no good reason.


  10. David J. Bauman September 12, 2013 at 06:10 #

    Poem on, dear. Poem on. 🙂 Hey, at least you were heard by those who wanted to hear you, right?


  11. Grannymar September 13, 2013 at 07:24 #

    Glad the distractions did not put you off. Read on, dear girl, A Poet’s life is never done.



  1. Monday Musings | The Laughing Housewife - September 16, 2013

    […] met the woman who connected me to the man who organised for me to read at Walthew House in church […]


  2. Another Poetry Reading | The Laughing Housewife - October 31, 2013

    […] may remember the poetry reading I gave in September at Walthew House, which supports Stockport’s blind and deaf people.  I […]


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