29th October 2015, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
Hugely enjoyable evening with Robin Houghton, aka 'Poetgal', giving us a memorable and uplifting reading of new work and poems from her Telltale Press pamphlet The Great Vowel Shift. It was Robin's birthday, but it felt a bit like we were the ones getting the presents - clear-focused observations of all corners of life, from what it's like to grow up a girl to fear of flying, to hotel rooms to snooker... all performed (lots from memory) with huge warmth and a sense of fun. Her scene-painting is particularly vivid, and I really recommend the pamphlet to those who couldn't make it - Ellipsis, for instance, conjures (unforgettably, as it happens) a Scrabble game with her ageing mother as memory retreated - zero sentimentality, simply put, but very moving. So big thanks to Robin, and to the roomful of excellent poets who came to listen and share their own poems - some powerful work, and lots of those small intakes of breath from the audience at the end of readings: poets' language for 'wow, wish I'd written that!'