28th March 2019, The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire BA15 1LN
"If someone walked in on the middle of this evening, they would say 'that's a cunningly-scripted anthology by everyone in the room' - if we'd tried to make it so perfect, I think we might have failed." What a spot-on summing-up of last night's Words & Ears by one of our two guest poets, Philip Gross - Lesley Saunders' request that we all came prepared with open-mic poems on belonging or exile, in keeping with the theme of the poets' collaborative book, A Part of the Main, was perhaps not recalled by everyone, but my goodness what a wonderfully cohesive evening it proved to be anyway - and the standard of the open mic was, as Lesley said, 'better than anywhere' she could think of. Well done everyone - Eileen Cameron, Rose Flint, Andy Fawthrop, Stephen Boyce, Pey Oh, Peter O'Grady, John Powell, Paul Brokensha, Deborah Harvey, Mark Sayers, Linda Saunders, Peter Iveson, John Waite, Dominic Fisher, Maggie Reed, Sarah Watkinson, Martin Reed - and, of course, Philip and Lesley, whose first sets dipped into their own work before their second gave us a irresistibly sparky, fun and thought-provoking slice of their new book, which I hugely recommend to you. And by the way, guest-poets-to-come: Lesley wrote a poem especially for Words & Ears... just saying :).