It's been a funny few months to say the very least. Furloughed on the 23rd March the launch of Heft has been suspended (as has the launch of fellow Squirrel Kemal Houghton's pamphlet 'There Will Be Dancing'). I then had to watch as a series of readings, 11 in total were either cancelled of postponed. Amongst much greater concerns the demoralisation of a poet counts for lettle but demralising it was.
The perils of booking the cheapest non-refundable budget hotel rooms has also become increasingly apparent! My suddenly bare calendar was quite bewildering for a while. Following on from that there is the reality that several of these venues will simple not re-open. Sadly one of these is Margaret Holbrook's venue at The Petersgate Tap in Stockport.
Nevertheless life goes on and last week my writing group (although a little depleted) did manage an evening of word sharing facilitated by the ubiquitous Zoom. Not something I would have considered before but to be honest it was enjoyable. Both Kemal and John Oldershaw joined me in a couple of beers and some much longed for catch-up.
So today I've been able to restore the first of my postponed bookings to the Events section of my web site. Not a reading but a workshop 'The Journey of Making a Poem' that Chester Cathedal's Laureate, Julia Denise was kind enough to invite me to lead after last years succesful workshop in Grosvenor Park for Chester Poets.
In addition I've been 'un-furloughed' which is great because the coffers definately require replenishment!
One of the best things about this mess has been the testimony of so many people as to the benefits of poetry and how they've been reading (& buying) it to get through, and that's an encouraging thought.
If you fancy something new yourself then do try my publisher, Red Squirrel Press. I've bought a couple of collections in the last few weeks, Sacrifice Zones by Samuel Tongue and In Good Time by James McGonigal. I have no hesitation in rcommending both of them (you can also get a copy of Heft and There Will Be Dancing while you're there!). The link is below. Stay safe and watch this space for details of the resurrected launch of Heft at some (unspecified) point in the future!!!