Last week in the run-up to National Poetry Day, I went to Carlisle to appear on Radio Cumbria’s Arty Show and discuss matters poetic with Darren Milby and Polly Atkin. I did the usual thing and took a wrong turn while driving, sailing past the junction I was meant to go down and ending up in the one-way system instead. Applying the ‘just keep turning left’ strategy I eventually ended up back where I was meant to be, albeit later than I’d expected. Stopping the car outside the studio, I came across an irate woman who’d been issued with a fixed penalty notice for naughty parking, which made me question the advice I’d been given about where to leave the car during the three hour visit. Assured by the radio staff that it’d all be ok, I abandoned the car and waited in the foyer to be called to the studio.
A nice young man made me an excellent cup of tea and any nerves that had been jangled by being slightly late, dodgy parking and general lack of self-confidence dissipated fairly quickly. It was nice to meet up with Polly again, with whom I’ve had brief conversations at a couple of poetry events previously. She has the happy knack of making you feel entirely at ease, even though I’m in awe of her talent and the wonderful poetry she has produced over her time in Grasmere beginning with her debut collection Basic Nest Architecture.
Called through to see Darren at just gone 7 pm, I was struck immediately by how relaxed and easy the whole process was; nothing at all like I’d imagined or prepared for, making the three hours of music and discussion fly by.
We chatted about poetry beginnings, publications, performance and finished with a couple of poems each. I managed to plug next year’s Fledge pamphlet with Maytree Press, but forgot completely about several other items I wanted to mention (including The Clog Market, reading at Write Out Loud’s Poetry Jam during the Marsden Jazz Festival next weekend and a children’s short story, Grimsby’s Unusual Trick, which will be coming out in the US later in the year).
Anyhoo, I thought I’d put up a few of the Maytree Press covers here as I’ve been banging on to anyone who will listen about how wonderful they are, just to give you a flavour of what I’m hoping will be my own debut of serious poetry next year with The Poetry Village.🙂