Friday, 5 March 2010
Sheffield and back
I have been yo-yoing up and down the country. Now north, now south, north again, now south again, then north again and back. Yesterday it was Sheffield, a single, fairly slow train ride with fellow readers, Ágnes Lehóczky and Nathan Hamilton, both good travelling companions, the sun bright and the three and a half hours passing fairly quickly. In Sheffield we are met by Adam Piette and Vahni Capildeo, who whisk us onto a tram and we drop by my hotel, the Leopold, before a quick Italian meal then to the venue.
The venue is Bank Street Arts, the home of The Poetry Business, Peter and Ann Sansom's HQ. It is essentially a large, converted private house on three or four floors and it has a very lived-in feel with stairs running left and right and up and down, like an invention from M C. Escher but, unlike Escher's buildings, absolutely full of proper human life. In fact it's packed with people, so we do our gig together with Ann Atkinson, who is currently poet laureate of the peaks. After the reading (very nice, thank you) and before the panel questions I ask her if she is obliged to climb them all and she assures me she is not so obliged. As regards the readings, this is the second time I have seen Nathan read his poems from an iPhone and I wonder whether he is setting a trend here. He'd need glasses before too long, I suspect.
Afterwards for drinks here and there including a late one near my hotel, where a DJ is playing bits of doctored (re-mixed) soul - Nine Simone, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. They're only mildly doctored, so I wonder why he's doing it at all especially since now I can neither listen to people talking, nor entirely to him. At midnight or so I decide I am too old for this, and head back to my room before I turn into a withered pumpkin.
I quite like the peripatetic life. Next week the yo-yo is up again when I am in Leeds for a debate at the Salon, before coming back to Cambridge for The Poetry School.
That's enough poetry business. Back to Mr Krasznahorkai's Satantango, here as seen by Béla Tarr,...
...and the question of terza rima.