The adventures of yesterday continued…
I managed to make it back in time for the poetry launch AND I got a seat (which was fantastic) after all that driving. I met Paul and he introduced me to Sarah James – the poet whose book launch it was. She had arranged a perfect night with an eclectic mix of poets performing and reading.
Remembering what Jonathan had said at the network meeting about supporting each other, and because I was curious and at a book launch, I treated myself to a copy of Beyond. And enjoyed lively poetry from Claire Walker, Maggie Doyle (Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2012-2013), Jenny Hope, Polly Robinson, Heather Wastie and Oxfordshire poet Andrew Smardon.
The atmosphere inside Park’s Café was buzzing and during the interval I talked to lots of other poets.
Maggie told me that they were all celebrating with a curry at the Dilshad Restaurant later, I was invited. I had planned to eat the great food they serve at Parks especially as I had missed lunch but what an opportunity.
I wish I had photos of the massive long table of hungry poets eating, we took up the length of the place! It was great as I got to chat more to some people I had already met and met some others.
Funny how things repeat. At the network meeting there were people advertising Stanza groups, I had never heard of them. They are poetry groups, like writing groups for poets and are run by members of the poetry society, I made a mental note to search the internet for one later. Talking to Maggie she told me half the room at the launch were in the local Stanza group… guess what my next venture is? They have a new member. It will also be great to see these people again.
I went to the event alone, I needn’t have worried by the end of the night I’d met so many poets and made some new friends. It is great to surround yourself with creative people.
And explaining it better than I can some background on Sarah’s poetry collection Be[yond] and some reviews of her amazing talent for words!
Sarah’s second full-length poetry collection Be[yond] is published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press, July 2013.
Love & lust, betrayal & endurance, disturbance & peace, life & loss, nature & modern society, language & what lies in the shadows between lines delight and tantalise in Sarah’s latest work.
Following on from her prize-winning first collection, Be[yond] combines Sarah’s characteristic crafting and eye for detail, imagery and metaphor with a new, more probing, approach to language and poetics.
The three sections of this collection – Against Air and Water, Through the Ether and From Earth and Fire – guide readers past the beaches of Birmingham, through meditations on water, a dreamworld strangeness, mezzanine memories of France, de-familiarised cityscapes and gorse wildlands to the edges of everyday life, love and language.
In the words of other poets:
“Moving on from her very successful first collection, Sarah James shows that she is not afraid to take risks. Experimenting almost scientifically with form and language, ‘Be [yond]‘ is innovative and adventurous and at the same time accessible and enjoyable.” – Jacqui Rowe
“An inventive voice emerging out of the entwined interstices of the domestic and the relational: precisely observed, embodied, thick with language.” – Scott Thurston
“Sarah James’s background in Linguistics makes for exceptional poetry. The rhythm is beautifully handled at a phonological level, and the imagery is striking. Here, though, the imagery is not just an adornment, it is drawn from various semiotic systems to convey hidden meaning, as if each poem were a text version on Sir Thomas Tresham’s Triangular Lodge.” – Alec Newman, Knives, Forks and Spoons Press editor
© 2013 Sarah James