How nice it is to get out! Chester Oyez was a lovely experience. Alas, D A Prince was ill and unable to be there, but Anne Caldwell, Gill McEvoy and Janet Loverseed made it. They read marvellously well. Gill McEvoy nearly brought me to unseemly tears with a poem I know well -- but it was still amazing. Janet read her Grey Hen competition winning poem -- stunning. Both Gill and Anne have full collections forthcoming from Cinnamon. These are going to be books worth waiting for!
Then, back in Fife, I had the privilege of reading at Cupar Arts Festival with Gordon Dargie and James Robertson. We read in a church -- a most beautiful venue with a magical acoustic. I had already been impressed with Gordon's poems on the page, but in performance they were almost overwhelming. He is a VERY good reader. Hard to believe that a person could come to writing poetry late in life and somehow cut the mustard like a seasoned mustard-cutter. A true poet. James is never less than excellent, of course, and he rang the changes between funny, couthie, wry and deeply thought-provoking. Extraordinary to be able to do such subtle and beautiful verse, and also write novels!
And what an unexpected pleasure -- to meet STORY competition prize-winner Heather Reid at the event. I hadn't realised (because all the judging is done anonymously) that three of the winners of this year's competition hail from Scotland and that two of them know each other! More of this in due course. One of my tasks in the next month is to typeset the winners' anthology. Meanwhile, back to Sphinx reviews . . .
- From left to right: Nell, Janet, Anne, Gill