Monday, 12 October 2009

Faber New Poets at Dragon Hall

Lateish back because of this. Fiona Benson, Jack Underwood, Heather Phillipson and Toby Martinez de las Rivas. These are some extraordinarily talents. I am not about to review them or their readings now because that would be invidious, but they cover a considerable range among them from the mystical to the funny to the lyrical to the keening, from light to dark along a variety of routes. I read a little with them and we talk with two or three questions from the big audience. Then they're on the road for the next eight days in as many cities. Faber and the Arts Council. I wish them all very well.

In the meantime my second major wholly unofficial mentor from thirty years back, Peter Porter, with whom I was supposed to have read at Cheltenham on Thursday, is out of hospital again, and - so says AT - in high spirits. I remember sitting in pubs in Bayswater with Peter, about 1973, having sent him poems in the post, waiting for his verdict. Kindness, patience, intelligence, truth with a friendly face. It's what a young writer needs. It was what I needed and got. It is what I, in turn, want to provide.

Another launch - the UEA anthology - tomorrow evening.

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