There’s something quite unique about ‘rehearsing’ for a reading. In a band you find spaces: a house, or a hall or a commercial space, perhaps. It is a communal activity. Ideas can be bounced around. There are different voices. It is a community effort. A poet preparing for a reading doesn’t really have that. You might wait for the children to go to sleep, and until you’ve done the dishes and put the bins out. You might wait until everyone else in the house is asleep, then set up your stopwatch and your bookmarked books and begin. And you time it. And you test it. And you change it. And you speak it out. You might even record it – even if you are going quietly quietly. You pace the lines. You might consider introductions. You might worry over things that have not read well previously. But you do all of this yourself. And you hope that people will like it.
Tonight I’m going to read from Instrumentals, as well as from Dark Horse Pictures (the first edition, although I’ll be selling the second…) and from Unthanks which aired first at Freiraum.
I am really honoured to have been asked to read tonight at Words by the Water – I hope you can come to see the other poets: it’s a cracking line-up. Here’s a taste of Dark Horse Pictures, in preparation for tonight. Interestingly, as I write this and the recording of ‘Allonby Beach Tidal Marks’ plays in the background I am regularly thinking ‘Well, that’s not how that bit should go….’
Small news: Instrumentals is longlisted by a publisher at the moment… but don’t get too excited, because we’ve been here before.