Saturday, 4 June 2011
The big PBS reading last night, led by Carol Ann Duffy. She and Daljit and I do pieces for Channel 4 TV. I make mine fairly hostile in the face of the Arts Council. It might be on today or tomorrow. I doubt I'll see it though it would be interesting to discover how much they show. At one point I am asked to respond to the ACE suggestion that closing things down might in fact be, er, exciting and bring out lots of people like, er, tonight. A loathsome hypocritical argument. My reply is along the lines that if you knock down someone in a car accident you'll get excitement and a crowd, but it's no reason to knock people down. I wonder if they'll screen that.
Crowd about 300+ which isn't bad for short notice, no advertising and a Friday night. Presses and Poetry Society well represented. I introduce the evening with an account of the PBS, what it does, what the other cut organisations do, then Daniel takes over as link and host. Most people read just one poem - I do the very short, We love life whenever we can'. Thirty-two readers across a wide range in terms of age, gravitas, approach, ethnicity, gender. It's a great evening and not altogether doomy. It is a fighting and celebrating kind of evening that makes for great atmosphere. Some book selling and signing at the end.
Away from desk so may write another short piece later.