I spent a highly enjoyable evening yesterday at a reading organised by Colin Herd on the fifth floor of the City Arts Centre, Edinburgh. The venue is a little like being in a university seminar room, without atmosphere, but it has great acoustics (no need for microphones) and is so high and away from everything that no background noise, which can sometimes plague bar events, was able to interfere. There is no perfect venue anywhere in Edinburgh! At least not an affordable one.
The readers were Andrea Brady, JL Williams, Richie McCaffery and Sandy Christie, and A W Singerman contributed a few songs. To say there was a contrast in styles – both in terms of poetry and reading style – would be a huge understatement. Eclectic is the word.
I’m not going to review the readings – suffice it to say that I enjoyed the evening and had a good time in the Waverley Bar afterwards. However, I will draw your attention to the fact that JL Williams has a collection coming out in February with Shearsman Press called Condition of Fire. She only read one poem from it last night, but it whetted the appetite for more (let that be a lesson for the over-loquacious!). Also, Andrea Brady’s latest book is Wildfire. I didn’t have enough money in my pocket to buy the book last night, but I plan to order it. It’s far from straightforward material, but I kept hearing snatches of lines and phrases I really liked at the reading and would like to slow the pace down and read them in a book.