Poetry Reading

This weekend, I did my first poetry reading in about thirty years. It was to mark International Women's Day, it was in Edinburgh, and I read to my husband, the organiser, and one more heroic individual. Actually, it was quite enjoyable. And it allowed me to try out a few things with absolutely no pressure. The publicity for the venue had omitted to mention that readings would be starting at one o'clock rather than two. But frankly, I don't think there were going to be vast audiences for the two o'clock reading either. Family and friends would have come if asked, but I don't have very many of those in Edinburgh any more. Fortunately, I was spending a weekend in Edinburgh anyway, and since the venue was on the Royal Mile, I fitted it in between the Queens Gallery (stunning Flemish Art) and Holyrood Palace. Then we went to the pub. I do think, though, that to entice people to listen to poetry these days - which is, when you think about it, a highly unnatural activity - you have to stage these events in bars or cafes. If people are sitting with wine, beer, or even coffee and cake, they will respond much more favourably to a little light poetry than when you expect them to sit in rows and listen. That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

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