28th September 2017, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
By our September guest MC, Stephen Payne
A pleasure to be a guest host at last night's Words & Ears in the Swan Hotel Bradford on Avon, and to support the absent Dawn Gorman, who provides such a wonderful service for local poetry.
The guest readings were excellent. That "shite" became one of the words-of-the-night is only testimony to the good-humour, and I guess political leanings, widely shared. Zelda Chappel's lyrical poems gave new meaning to the phrase "bird's eye view" and offered strangely hopeful perspectives on loss and grief. Peter Robinson's poems revealed him to be exceptionally well travelled both physically and intellectually: his new poems were a powerful elegy for Europe, and one of his earlier poems certainly touched my own experiences with its mention of the Open Day as a metaphor for the kind of post-modern dystopia we seem to be building (I think this was the point in the evening where "shite" entered the discourse).
Open mic contributions were splendid as ever, from Chaucer Cameron, Deborah Harvey, Dru Marland, Peter O'Grady, Ruth Sharman, Mark Sayers and others. I was only sorry that in my own reading of In My Craft or Sullen Art I demonstrated how readily "Not for the proud man apart/ from the raging moon" can transform into "Not for the proud moon apart/ from the raging man". But don't worry, Dylan, I caught myself almost in time.
Thanks again to Zelda and Peter, lovely to meet you and to hear you.