Guest Poet: Alasdair Paterson
Having won an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry in 1975 and published collections in the mid-1980s including The Floating World (Pig Press) and Brief Lives (Oasis Books), Alasdair Paterson returned to writing after a 20 year gap with On the Governing of Empires (Shearsman, 2010). In 2011 he published two pamphlets: Brumaire and Later (Flarestack) and In Arcadia (Oystercatcher), followed by another full collection, Elsewhere or Thereabouts (Shearsman, 2014). He is now retired after a career directing the work of academic libraries in Britain and Ireland and travelling extensively, particularly in Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. He lives in Exeter, where he is co-presenter of the monthly Uncut Poets event in the Exeter Phoenix and chair of ExCite, the Devon Stanza of the Poetry Society which organizes the annual Exeter Poetry Festival.
27th August 2015, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
Many thanks to everyone who came to hear our superb headliner poet Alasdair Paterson - and to all those who contributed to the lively and varied open mic. Alasdair read from several of his publications, treating us to an eclectic range of work, including intriguing villanelles in the voice of a mad king; poems with classical references - drawn with enviable lightness of touch; and, from his excellent latest collection, elsewhere or thereabouts, poems in the voice of a 'Famous Russian Poet'. There were empires, swifts, a witty re-editing of a tattoo, 'the gentle sine wave of revenge', and, to send us on our way, a 40-year-old poem ending on the great line: 'Everything that matters it just about to happen'.