Pigbaby’s poetry festival came to an end in style with the launch of Mimi Khalvati’s new collection from Carcanet Child: New and Selected Poems 1991-2011.
A huge range of poetry in autobiographical sections and her reading made special by her delivery, both warm and intelligent. Her poem Villanelle telling us of being in an empty house as a child, was one that I could identify with myself, her parents like mine thought nothing of leaving children alone in the house, although in my case not at such a young age. Her poem about this experience was both beautiful and and somewhat chilling. Her poems writing home from school at the age of six were extraordinary, particularly in the way she took the experience for granted, with no self pity.
Her insights in her poems about schizophrenia, came from personal experience with her son’s illness. The tenderness of their relationship sang from the pages she read.
I wasn’t going to buy any more poetry books in the foreseeable future, but this one I had to have, if only to hear he voice again, in my mind as I read them.
Peter & Ann Sansom’s reading was to have included questions and answers, which did not happen, but Ann was a gem, her poetry quirky in subject matter and full of wit. Her praise for her Dentist and her Driving Instructor in particular, while Peter gave us chapter and verse about ironing, born again bikers, Vespas and beach combing.
Catherine Smith’s poems were somewhat dark and often grotesque. she is however an excellent performer if a bit too gory for my mood tonight.
Raffle prizes won, books and pamphets sold, thanks given to the support given by the Red roaster Coffee House, Three to Ten (for free reading space during the week) the audience for their enthusiasm, which judging by the applause were well satisfied. Well done Pighog press.