30th July 2015, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
When your guest poet is the editor of Bird Watching magazine, you have to expect birds in the room. And there were. Flocks of them. While the swifts (possibly Matt Merritt's favourite bird) squealed through the air over the Swan, our headliner focussed our attention on everything from green woodpeckers to black-throated divers, not to mention an elephant or two, cricket, and things left in hotel bedrooms. Matt, who is also poetry editor of Under the Radar, handles natural history, emotional undercurrents, and humour, with the same deft and subtle touch, making for a really enjoyable evening. Open mic contributions also produced many feathery moments - including the surreal and unexpected exhumation of a Canada goose. Thank you to all contributors - new voices and more familiar ones, and in particular to Matt for his excellent reading.