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16 March 2009

I actually left the house on a Friday evening

How did it happen? Well.... very boring really. But it comes down to the fact that last Friday I was able to hop down to Waterstone's bookstore and only miss about 20 minutes of a poetry reading by the poets from an anthology called "A Twist of Malice", which is a collection featuring 36 contemporary poets exploring the darker side of the female imagination. Leila had sent me some info about the reading earlier in the week but I didn't see a flyer until right before... At which point, one, I was suddenly free to go and, two, I recognized one of the names from the small lit mags I frequent, so off I went. I am so glad events conspired with me for a change! It was a fantastic reading, even wedged into a corner of the ground floor of Waterstone's, complete with police sirens and a browser in the magazine section who talked to himself, loudly, everytime someone started up a new poem. Ah, that's the stuff that poetry readings are made of....

But really, it was like meeting my future, a coven of kindred late bloomer spirits. I got to hear 5 or 6 of the poets read; their work overall often wry, often humourous, never posey or posing, "striking home" one after another. Afterwards I stayed to have a drink and had barely began to compliment them when they were asking me, do you write, do you submit, which mags do you like, oh yes, we like that one too... So encouraging! They get rejected all the time, they said; our works gets held up for months. But we move on. Yes, submitting is tedious. Do keep writing. You've got to do that. After a certain level it's so much to do with luck and timing and what the editor published last month etc ...

I would have gladly had them all to my house and plied them with cookies to keep them talking. I forgot to make a list of exactly which poets were there -- I will do that in a subsequent post, with links for you. In the meantime, have a look at Grey Hen Press, an independent publisher of
poetry, short fiction and autobiographical work by older women.

PS. Grey Hen is also running a competition for women poets over 60, so if this applies to you, better get a move on: closing date is end of April.

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