Readings (the other side of the story)

I have a terrible confession, especially after my blog about people who don’t read. I don’t read poetry! I’m a lazy tyke and I find poetry on the page is quite hard work, so I just don’t read it. However, I’m not entirely without hope, because I do love to hear poetry and I could happily sit and listen to poets reading their own work all day (and all night, but that’s another story). So when I know a poet I admire is giving a reading, I will generally break my reclusive habits to go along.

This is John McCullough, reading from his new collection Cloudfish last night at Joogleberry’s in Brighton. It was a short but very intense reading and because I already knew John’s work, I was prepared to grab a table right at the front and sit with my eyes closed, because his poems are dense with ideas and visual images, and require quite a bit of concentration to get the most out of them when they are being read aloud. I’m indebted too, to Ellen de Vries, another poet, who condensed my fantasy about having a poet in every room of my home, ready to read aloud, into the phrase ‘poets in cupboards’ which explains why she is a poet and I am not!

I came home on the bus, still enthralled by ‘Tropospheric’ – a poem that explores how clouds view the land, and looking forward to my next poetry reading …


  1. Anonymous
    5th October 2007

    That’s what I like to hear – big up the poetry, Kay! Everyone should try and hear some poetry even if they don’t care to read it. Poetry is all about essence, image, moments of understanding, and should be the food of short fiction writers.

  2. BookClover
    6th October 2007

    I too was a non-reader of poetry (whereas I am a voracious reader of novels) but I happened to read a few poems and then started with the rest. I think poetry is ‘stronger’ than novels in the sense it forces you to think so I take it in small doses but I think it’s worth trying;-)

  3. Brad V.
    7th October 2007

    I used to read everything except poetry. But being an English Literature major in college, I couldn’t ignore it forever. So finally, one semester I took two poetry classes (one for writing poetry and the other reading it) and I finally learned “how” to read poetry. More importantly though, I learned how to appreciate it.


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