Out of the blue, Serena offered me a ticket to accompany her. I was over the moon, as Imtiaz Dharker would say.
John Sampson, noticably the only man, serenaded each woman poet, with a trumpet fanfare, the tune relevant to the geography of the poet. Two from Scotland, Jackie Kay and Imtiaz Dharker.
Compassionate gentle words opened the evening from the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke. She read 6 Bells, capturing the huge drama of the mining catastrophe in the mundane action of a woman hanging out her sheets. Red haired mother saving the drowned child
Rebecca Goss drew from her intimate experience of burying her child, and having another. Lost. ‘Did you know I’d lost my child’ Euphamisms.
Jackie Kay – brilliant, easy, laughing.
Imtiaz Dharker – with interesting parallels with Jackie Kay, dark genetic skin, broad scottish voices. Hen, take a look at that Loch.
Toped and Tailed by two strong dry, teasing women. Maggie Hambling, and Carol Ann Duffy. (MH inspired by reading Oscar Wild) . Both shared a friendship with George Melly After Mrs Tiresias, is understandably popular, as we giggle at how the man who has become the woman struggles with his period pains. Carol Ann played it to the singular man, the trumpeter.
Les was there, with a woman I knew from Bob days. Wine and sausages and delicious finger food for the interval.
At the end, we sat outside an Aldeburgh pub on a day approaching the longest day, Serena and I , drank Aspals cyder, and chewed the cud on some of the words just heard. Watching wasps or bees in the Moot Hall chimney. A well formed unexpected evening, warn heated, easy.