At Faversham Literary Festival yesterday, poetry took over the whole day at The Limes pub. Poets and poetry do have a tendency to take over, I find, in the nicest possible way and the whole place was a rolling celebration of words, human vulnerabilities and laughter.
We started with a pop-up event featuring Word of Mouth #Whitstable. My guest poets were a wonderful range of published poets who’ve all read at Word of Mouth (originally Words on Waves): Sue Rose, Gillie Robic, Charlotte Ansell, Setareh Ibrahimi, Mary Anne Smith and (briefly) myself. It’s Mary Anne who looks as if she’s wearing John McCullough’s hat. These are all poets I admire very much and I was honoured to read alongside them. More details about them are here. Excellent husbanding going on below, allowing Setareh to relax after her reading. John McCullough is an exceptional writer from Brighton, very moving – here he reads from his excellent Reckless Paper Birds (Penned in the Margins). This is Luke Wright spellbinding us all with a beautifully crafted story that combines poetry, love and personal heartbreak, politics and rant: Remains of Logan DankworthAnother important highlight of the day was an hour devoted to Kent poet Rosemary McLeish who brought her poet friends Clair Meyrick and Barry Fentiman Hall in support. Sorry the photograph is blurry but this was an event of high emotion, generated by all three of these marvellous writers.
Faversham does actually have a ‘Love Lane’ so that was our title for an hour of poetry about love combining the words of Derek Sellen and Gary Studley with Mary Anne Smith and myself again. The breath-held hush while I read from Orion, my ‘classical love story’ published by Lapwing Publications in 2012, will stay with me for quite some time.
Many thanks to everyone at Faversham Literary Festival for a fantastic series of events and for a complex, wide-ranging festival that hums along like a Rolls Royce and brings such literary excitement to us every year. One more day to go – see you there later!