Monday, 17 November 2008

Another late night

Burning the candle at all three ends. To hear Sebastian Barry read and talk at UEA tonight followed by dinner. He is a most extraordinary reader, a kind of Dickens, moving constantly, acting the words. Quite enthralling. Bought The Secret Scriptures. Will read when time allows. Good example of novelist close to dramatist close to poet. Sprinkles magic dust like there's no tomorrow.

Poems in from Guardian poetry blog. To read tomorrow. Another full day. I'll be working on them on the train to Warwick on Wednesday I think.

Now to bed.


PJ Nolan said...

Damn! That slipped my mind - the workshop itself is too well buried in the blogs to spring a reminder, even for regular online readers. Should have calendared it.

May said...

I sent you an e-mail and it came back.

Background Artist said...

I saw Barry read with Douglas Dunn, the week after Poetry Now in dun leary in April.

I got the time wrong, thinking it strated 1/2 an hour earlier than it did, and on entering the lecture hall at trinity to a thin crowd, immediately bestrode over to Barry who was ensconced in conversation with the trinity graduate from the mphil writing programme who was the third reader - and on a high, assuming he would know what was in my head, thrusting foward the mp3 player i had used to record Szirtes at PN 08 - asked him:

"do you want to be recorded?"

He looked at me like i was a nutter, and before he got a chance to turn away, said:

"I recorded George Szirtes at Dun Leary." expecting a smile to crack onto his gob, as if this piece of intelligence would make my motives clear. Alas, it is clear now, from his point of view, all was clear as mud and he turned to the female reader, the body language in no doubt. Go away.

Feeling slighted by this snub, I said to the friend who was with me, as we turned to sit behind him, my imagination still fixed, solid, the residual effect of meeting our leader acting as an invioble shield to even the most gifted of writers:

"It's ok, if they're boring we can just leave."

Several minutes later, it dawned on me we had got the time wrong, and after 20 minutes pre-fuffle, got straight down to the biz after Gerald D introduced Barry and he launched into his recital, totally becoming the character, the first time i had seen a novelist live up to the blather and blurb they are spun up to be - congratulating myself as being the grain of agitation which raised his own game, the threat of a bored nutter upping his performance - i imagined.

After his tour de force reading, Dunn was up, and as he strode the few steps from seat to lectern, the look on his face betrayed exactly what i was thinking. How is he going to follow that, his first words as he began.

And after a poem, being himself was enough, his poems clipped, precise and most of all, Scottish in the sense of a scot who lives there.


I have just got in from the Unitarian Church stephens green. Catriona O'Reilly and Robin Robertson, both of whom read well.

George S said...

Where did you send it, May?


May said...

Wel, I sent it to a couple of different addresses - not that one, though.