Nevada Street Poets 10th birthday

Nine distinct voices, ten years of writing, critiquing, growing and having fun – all demonstrated and celebrated during an evening at the lovely West Greenwich Library, made possible again by the generous presence of librarians Debra and Bear.

l-r: Richard Meier, Jocelyn Page, Dominic McLaughlin, Sarah Westcott, Kelley Swain, Lorraine Mariner and Mick Delap

Group members Malene Engelund and David Nash live mostly abroad now and their poems were read by Mick and Lorraine.

It was clear, listening to and looking at the poets, that there is a special trust and affection between them, which no doubt has contributed to the development of their voices. Intimate, revelatory, surprising, touching, funny, structurally free or formal, the lines read made us discover a 12-year-old’s disappointments and hopes, the meaning of owls in our hearts, how scientific tools can trigger poetic imagination, the deeply personal musings about growing older, almost-empty nests. With nature and human connections always present.

I am delighted that a large audience was there to help the celebrations. Thank you all for coming, and may 2020 bring you peace, serenity and health.

Events

‘Proper’ summer is finally here and, while I’m reluctant to start thinking about autumn, I am inevitably and joyfully beginning to plan the first event of the ‘new term’. The first thing I did was to look back at all the in-words events from the very first one in January 2017, and I realised that over five years I hosted 49 readings, including a number of lectures by Graham Fawcett. 49! What shall I do for the 50th? I’m thinking that, although it would limit the numbers in the audience, I would really love to have an in-person event at the West Greenwich Library, like ‘in the old days’. And you never know, I may even be able to get to grips with ‘hybrid’…. Of course, it will depend of many factors, and as soon as I can, I shall post a date if not a full programme.

I love the new animation at the top of my homepage. Thanks to Paul Kley for creating it. The words on the flying page are not a quotation but a whole poem, a favourite of mine, by the Italian hermetic poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. It is impossible to translate, though countless attempts have been made. I am sure you can guess its meaning and I leave you to create your own ‘translation’ of it. Ungaretti fought in the trenches and those two lines represent a moment one morning – pared down to a sense of the absolute, maybe also of possibilities?

As we emerge from a not-yet-over pandemic and wake up every morning feeling the dread of conflict but also aware of the beauty of spring and the blessing of nature and community, Ungaretti’s words are more than ever appropriate.

I am taking a break from organising things over the summer. Whether I will be as dynamic as the train above, or I’ll take time on a siding, I’m not yet sure.

Either way, I am always happy to hear from you with thoughts and ideas, and wish to thank you for your support so far.

Be well!