I had a grand reunion with my London poetry workshop group last weekend, when we all travelled to Oxford for a couple of days of reading poetry and eating nice food. One night we ate at Folly’s Bridge Brasserie near the Folly, (a For Sale sign on the front of it when we passed).
Although we had a very fruitful workshop, discussing consistently interesting, challenging and inspiring poems, another highlight was in store for us, in the form of a group reading, organized by Jenny Lewis, at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop in Jericho, Oxford. An enthusiastic, attentive and book-buying audience of 55 or so squeezed into every available corner to sup on mulled wine, mince tarts and the ambrosial words of Jenny (who read poems from Fathom), Claire Crowther (reading from Mollicle and Incense), Anne Berkeley (reading from The Men From Praga), Tamar Yoseloff (reading from The City with Horns)
and I (reading from Sunday Dinners, The Earth’s Kitchen and Cartography) before we were treated to a slightly longer reading from Sue Rose in celebration of her new collection, From The Dark Room. We were inclined to agree with the bookshop owner who said he’d never had a better poetry evening.