Thursday, 1 November 2007

The 'Main Man' ;-)

Andrew Motion read last night at Sheffield Hallam University. He was warm and inspiring and if I wasn't already converted to the idea of poet laureates, I would be now! His specially commissioned poem is highly visible on the side of the university as you walk from Sheffield station to the city centre, and passers-by can be seen gazing upwards at the shiny letters. One of the things he has done as national P L is to raise £2 million for the Poetry Archive, a treasure-trove of recordings of poets reading their own work. Poetry is meant to be heard aloud and this is a fantastic collection. Here's a much-loved poem by John Betjeman, and one of my favourites - Jackie Kay.

There's only a few days left of Off The Shelf, Sheffield Fest of Reading and Writing 2007. It's a wonderful mix of writers, workshops and book-related stuff. I will be reading as part of Six Women Poets with a Kick at the Lantern Theatre on Sunday 4th Nov. Tickets are sold out, but there may be returns on the door if you want to chance it.


Jane Holland: Editor said...

Good luck with the gig on Sunday, River - fantastic name for a poet, btw! - and do please slap a link up here to the Warwick Laureate site. I shall reciprocate, of course. Meanwhile, though I know it's sold out, I couldn't resist blogging up your Sheffield gig on Poets on Fire today.

I'd like to create a network of UK Laureates. Do you know if one already exists or would I be starting from scratch?

(Warwick Poet Laureate - hey, how come I only get a town, but you get an entire county!?! Harumph!)

River Wolton said...

Thanks Jane & cheers for the mention on Poets on Fire.

As far as I know there's no existing web-based network of laureates. My predecessor went to London for a Laureate gathering at one point so maybe there's someone keeping tabs. Check out Jo Bell, the current Cheshire Laureate
The others that I've come across through Google or word-of-mouth include Birmingham, South Cumbria, Peterborough, Peak District (our territories overlap a bit!)
'My' catchment doesn't include Derby City so per head we might be closer than you think!