It’s great when other bloggers go to events and report on them so well that I can just link you to their sites to find out all the important stuff. As far as the By Leaves We Live event goes, Colin Will has done the job!
I stayed a little later than Colin and heard Richard Price perform a poetry set, which was a sonic feast - witty and mystifying in equal measure. As RP himself said on reading one poem about cars, “you’ll just have to run with me on this, down the wrong side of the highway.” Not often easy poetry to take in, but always engaging.
I met Robtm (for some reason, that’s how he likes to be known in Internetland) and we ate a sandwich on a bench on the Canongate. Robtm started talking to this Geordie guy on a neighbouring bench who was obsessed by these people who had nicked a wheel off a bike ten minutes before, and whose dog had feet that turned the wrong way, which was nothing to do with arthritis, and…
I ran into Hazel Frew. I last met her around 1999 or so. She used to read monthly at the Bar Brel in Glasgow at the same period I went there, so we reminisced about that. It was a poky wee room on the first floor next to a noisy kitchen, but we both cut our poetry-reading teeth there and can only remember the good bits.
I also met Joy Fuller. I’d heard her read a few poems at an open-mic a couple of years ago and she was terrific. She informed me that she was now to be known as Margaret Christie. In fact, she used to be known as Margaret Christie, but changed to Joy Fuller a few years ago. Now she’s changed back again. In any case, she has a chapbook coming out on HappenStance later this month, 27th October, one of four new chapbooks to be launched on that date. Should be good.
The Scottish poetry world is small. I met lots of people I already knew, but quite a few I didn’t. A number of visual artists were there, and many of the publications on display were collaborations between artists and poets.
Of course, I bought stuff. And here’s the list:
Only one book:
Richard Price’s Greenfields (Carcanet, 2007)
Two chapbooks of translations on Perdika Press:
Christine North: Mallarmé
Tom Jones: Akhmatova
One chapbook of original poems:
Hazel Frew – Clockwork Scorpion (Rack Press)
And I got some free things. Issue 15 of Painted, Spoken and issue 3 of the related PS. And Duncan Glen was nice enough to give me a free copy of his magazine Zed2O, issue 22.
When I got home, I went into the back garden in the dark, opened a small bottle of Pepsi Cola I’d bought for the occasion and dropped a polo mint into it. Have you ever tried this? Don’t do it inside the house!