To celebrate this year’s Portsmouth BookFest 2020, S&C Contributor Amanda Garrie writes about her experience of going to one of the events, ‘An Evening of Poetry’.
T’Articulation took themselves to 113 Art House Coffee on Monday 17th Feb, for ‘An Evening of Poetry’, as part of this year’s Bookfest. The house was full and the spoken word exceptional. Our own Margaret Jennings was ably interviewed by Richard Williams about her new poetry collection ‘We are the Lizards‘, published by Dempsey and Windle. The audience was given an insight into Margaret’s working practices and we were treated to many nuggets of wisdom on how to generate a poem. To be there was a delight.
In addition, 8 poets (those of our members who concentrate on that form) congregated as a choir, conducted by Eileen Phyall, who drew work from the ensemble based on a number of themes. The diversity in the work, the different tones and voices, was incredible: each poet contributing a number of pieces across the evening. Actual musical interludes were provided by the talented Chris Collier.
In the final section our compere, Vin Adams, encouraged members of the audience to offer their own work and receive feedback from the poets. We heard really good work in this section, also, from several who stepped up to the plate. Praise and apposite advice was given in equal measure along with the hope we’ll hear more from these new voices in future.
Threaded through the evening were poems from our pop-up poet for the night, Philip Jeremy Wilson, who stunned those present by writing poems reflecting on the words we heard as they unfolded. Three excellent pieces emerged, displaying Philip’s talent in this specialist area.
We were grateful too for the assistance of Mike Phyall who not only signed people in but acted as our bookseller. A range of books from the poets themselves, as well as some secondhand offerings, helped raise money to expand the group’s tech equipment.
The venue was perfect for the evening, with pleasant and accommodating staff. We hope to have many another event there.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this a very special evening – the first of our Bookfest events for this year.
We are also running two other free events – a talk and a workshop, ‘Traipsing with Travel Writers’, at The Eldon Building on 5th March. Details and booking info on Eventbrite: