25th February 2016, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
Lots of lovely synchronicities at another packed Words & Ears on Thursday, when our guest poets were Bath's Sue Boyle and Connie Voisine, Associate Professor of English at New Mexico State University. Huge thanks to Connie, who was in England for just one day, and squeezed in her reading for us following one at Bath Spa University. And thanks to Paul who treated her to a great taste of European eccentricity when she rode back to Bath in the back of his 2CV!
In her reading, Connie remarked on the differences in use of language between US and British poets, and those differences made for a rich and diverse evening of poetry from our guests and open mic-ers. Connie's canvas is broad - we heard poems on the humiliation of a body wasting away, a car breaking down, a baby viewed on a sonogram - and lots of references to New Mexico, including an ode to the high temperatures, "This thick arctic of heat".
With her focus on the same continent, Sue Boyle treated us to a substantial portion of her latest work, The Letters from Mexico, her moving Victorian love story. The tale is told in sonnets based on letters - or meditations - between a wealthy, but essentially lonely man ("I was a country no one thought to find") and his children's governess. Then we were off to Rome for another love affair - delicious.
That point about use of language was a theme for the evening, in fact, with lots of haiku (and their variants - thanks, Alan, for the one-liners!), memorable prose poems from Lesley, and a 'found' poem from Peter, among the many excellent open mic contributions.