I was in North Berwick last night for an open-mic type event, mainly because Apprentice had suggested it might be a good evening and would give me some much-needed practice in reading my poems in public.
I enjoyed it. There were some very good writers there – some reading poems, others prose, which ranged from memoirs to fiction. People seemed friendly and the wine was fine. I read three poems. Two came from my chapbook – Taxi and The Actress – and I read In the Last Few Seconds because the organiser, Alan Gay, had asked me to.
One good thing about live readings is that I see at first hand how poems go down in that setting. The Actress, which is about my admiration for the pre-Hollywood Penelope Cruz, with a sideswipe at the less interesting forms of confessional poetry, got a lot of laughs, so I’ve noted that one as a crowd-pleaser – one I can sandwich between the heavier stuff.
It was nice to meet Apprentice, who was a good reader of her work. Colin Will was also there, and his poems came over very well. I went off with a copy of Alan Gay’s chapbook, but when I decided to rummage through the rest (in between talking with folk), they had disappeared. Maybe another time…