Tonight Brendan Cleary relaunched his cult classic poetry magazine of the 80s and 90s ‘The Echo Room’ at the Redroaster. He compered the evening’s proceedings himself as one of the Pighog Poetry events and part of the Brighton Festival.
Brendan brought on stage four of the poets who have contributed to the new magazine to read their poems. Kay Syriad read ‘The Owl with Blue Pencil’, Tony Spiers, with dead pan delivery, read his very funny poem about a pond. So much talent in the Red Roaster last night.
The magazine includes Simon Armitage, Geoff Hattersly, Helen Mort, Matthew Caley and Ciaran O’Driscoll among others. It costs £5 for goodness sake, a gift!
Later we had readings from Matthew Sweeney, Martin Myers and Jackie Wilson who had had poems published in the original magazine. One of her poems about horses at a funeral was my favourite of the evening.
Sarah Jackson was there to launch ‘Pelt’, her first full collection published by Bloodaxe, how dare she be so young and talented, but then poets so often are!
The night before we had Kay Syrad with her new collection ‘Double Edge’. ‘I remember being left’ is a poem that will stay in my mind for a long time.
Pighog have certainly got some amazing poets on their books, which must be down to John Davies’ ability to talent spot and, of course, considerable determination. They are already up for a prestigious award.
Luckily, despite the recession, Pighog publications are selling well at all the events at the Redroaster. Maybe this is because in the current climate the language of poetry is still universal, makes the ordinary extraordinary and reminds us of what it is to be human.