Full house and laughter at the launch

of John McCullough’s eagerly awaited new collection ‘Spacecraft’ and Claire Trevien’s ‘Asteronymes’ 1-P1020825published by Penned in the Margins.

1-P1020841     1-P1020842     1-P1020831

Plenty of erudite comments on both books from the likes of Ruth Padel, Sarah Howe, D.A Powell and W.N. Herbert so this is from someone who simply loves poetry went along and enjoyed it all.

A very happy choice  that these poets appeared together, they certainly complimented each other.

1-P1020846I loved the way Claire gave some insights into how some of her brilliant poems came about. Noticed too that there is also an intriguing set of notes at the back of her book one of which states that ‘poems have been created using a technique I’ve not found a name for.’ How wonderful is that?

Some of her poems come as a result of making herself the curator of imaginary museums which include ‘The Museum of Shared Meals’ or ‘The Museum of Sleeping’. Then there are poems where ‘ancient stone circles collide with the language of the internet.’

The central sequence concerns a journey across Arran, exploring myths and caves. Collectively a highly compelling collection, inventive as well as touching in terms of poems concerned with friendship. ‘Instructions for Restoring a Friendship’ Oh and also warmed to ‘Cir Mhor.’

1-P10208511-P10208504-P1020854 John was in good form, mischief in the air when he was described as the ‘Prince of Brighton’ and again when he read a poem dedicated to the exclamation mark. ‘Brighton Puffin’ and Cat Flap’are both amusing poems too.

However he writes tenderly of the loss of his first partner who died of Aids  with a poem entitled ‘I’ve Carried a Door On My Back for Ten Years’ and a elegy to Lee Harwood  ‘Rooms.’  I loved this poem.   Although I had never met the man, I have heard a lot about him and this really seemed to capture his spirit.  On a lighter note there was a poem in celebration of his long term partner called ‘City of Winds’  and  ‘The Anger Room’ was very funny. It reminded me that I once heard the Japanese keep their work ethic by having an such a room with full sized punch balls shaped like people, so workers can lay into their bosses on Fridays. OK it was only a rumour.

A packed house for an entertaining night of poetry in Brighton’s Latest Music Bar.

More than seventy poems in each book so bedtime reading settled for a bit…

1-P1020848The evening was introduced by the publisher  of Penned in the Margins. What a success 1-P1020839they are about to have on their hands. All copies of John’s book brought to the launch sold out before the reading and Claire’s too were selling fast as I left.

And still time to catch up with this pair on the 19th if you live in Oxford. Good luck to all concerned.

Both books can be purchased from the Penned in the Margin’s website.

http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/

Note -Sorry pics will not blow up, best kept as thumb prints was not my best pic day!

 

 

 

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