I felt a few nerves before Sunday evenings readings at Poetry at the… Jekyll and Hyde. I arrived back in Edinburgh in the early evening and went straight to the venue where I was meeting a few people to talk about something else.
It was a new venue. How would the sound be once it filled up? How was visibility? Atmosphere? Would people come? I needn’t have been concerned. The acoustics were excellent, there was a great atmosphere, everyone could see and hear well, and the bar was at almost full capacity. I suppose that’s the one remaining concern - not much room to grow, although that’s not an unpleasant problem to have.
One aspect which never worried me was the quality of readers and none of them disappointed. Four terrific readings from Ryan Van Winkle, Kevin Cadwallender, Claire Crowther, and Nigel McLoughlin. They are all very different poets. Each played to their strengths and read very well. Plenty of positive feedback from the audience. Some of Nigel’s friends from Edinburgh told me they never attended poetry readings but had thoroughly enjoyed all the poets. That’s the kind of reaction I like to hear! It was also good to see several folk in the audience I’d never seen before and to catch up with friends. I do try to make everyone feel welcome and, when people come on their own (not everyone’s friends would consider going to a poetry reading), I try to introduce them to other people. I’m now looking forward to the next event on Sunday May 10th.