I Would Like To Say Thank You

Poets gathering in a break at the May 2022 Carlisle Poetry Symposium
The brilliant Ilse Pedler reads at the May 2022 Carlisle Poetry Symposium. Great poems, brilliantly read. And impeccable mic skills.

I am at the point now, a couple of days after the Carlisle Poetry Symposium of gathering my thoughts and wanting to say thank you. Firstly, thank you to Richard Morewood who opened up proceedings, reading from (amongst other things) his book-length poem Towton Field. Thanks also to Ilse Pedler who not only ran the morning workshop, but also gave a brilliant reading: I have already had the pleasure of going back to her collection after her reading. It is such a pleasure to be able to read the work having now heard her read twice. Words don’t really cover what I gain from being at a reading by Josephine Dickinson; at the risk of repeating myself, you can read what I wrote about one of her readings here: https://andyhopkinspoet.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/freiraum-3/comment-page-1/. I think we are also very lucky to have filmed Josephine reading this time and so we’ll get the chance to showcase her work in more than one way.

Thanks also must go to you. If you’re reading this, then you came to the event – didn’t you? Without you there’s no event. Did you buy a book? Let us know about it! The pop-up bookshop made nice sums of money for many of the writers involved. Also, I would be really keen to know how people felt about the change in the nature of the day. We started with a workshop – what did you think? Time given over to the workshop means less ‘Featured Writers’ – let me know how that seemed. I was very touched that someone said to me that the event managed to get an entire literary festival’s worth of events into one day. That said, I hope it never felt rushed.

I was particularly humbled that previous ‘Featured Writers’ came to read as part of the day’s ‘open mic’ slots: the quality shone through. It was nice to meet some new faces, too: I hope we can keep the networks between the various poetry groups in Cumbria going.

If you’re interested in the series of post-Symposium workshops, please see the link at the tab at the top of the homepage of the blog. We’re asked Tullie House for another date in the autumn. Any suggestions about the structure of the day, pop them below (or email them to Symposium HQ: carlislepoetrysymposium@gmail.com).


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