Sunday, 16 October 2005

Well met

Typical that you wake up on an important day with a cough. Yesterday I was appearing at Ilkley Literature Festival, my job was to 'be in conversation' with poet, author and poker player Al Alvarez. Poor man's train was hours late and the event started a bit late, but I hope that at 76 I'm as sharp as he. He could have talked for hours without any prompting, but I wanted to shape the chat a bit so the audience would get to hear about some of the writer's he had encountered both in his years of reading, being poetry critic at the Observer, and in his life, though we didn't get into his friendship with Sylvia Plath, as I knew that if we went there the audience would forget about what we have come to chat about, his new book 'The Writer's Voice.' I am a big fan of this book; I bought it in a bookshop in Paris 'The Red Wheelbarrow' earlier this year when I was searching for a prayer to hold onto, and writing like a fiend. This book gave me a lot of permission to engage with my own author's voice, and at the time help produce 2 of the poems I'm proudest of in my new book.

We had a great audience, over 120 people, and we really could have talked for hours. I had to keep shielding the mic from my annoying cough, I hope the audience, weren't too put out by it. I tried my very best to be subtle with it, and did apologise before we began.

Al signed a lot of books afterwards, and a number of very kind audience members asked me to sign copies of my book. I have to say I do like book signing; I am genuinely pleased that anyone would read my work. After The Hubbub died down Al went for a smoke of his pipe and I joined his and him on a bench looking over the park and the river on a washed out Ilkley day, talk of cherry tobacco, and poetry. Then he was off back to London, and I back home to collapse with this damn flu it seems to be, I keep getting ill this year.. It is very frustrating.


Watched the new Kate Bush video on Channel 4, can’t say I like it, she keeps herself hidden in a big coat, doesn’t show more than her head and shoulders and has been digitally stretched, but we all know you’re a fatty now Kate, just make the music, that’s what we like, and if the fat is an issue, get down to weight watchers and admit its time to change instead of being digitally thin and hidden, which is stupid…Like the song though…

Friday, 14 October 2005


Bonkers day in Manchester, Lunch with my friend Rosie the lesbian vampire queen, we talked books and writing and about growing with the past. then on to Manchester's Circle club, which I'm starting to use as a base for when I have meetings in the city. Lots of reading to do Tonight as I'm interviewing Al Alvarez in front of an audience tomorrow at Ilkley Lit Festival, gotta get my questions together, but I'm aching for a bath.

new Boards of Canada lp arrived today, on 2 slabs of vinyl, time to play and have a cup of tea and read..or shall I have a bath first...

Monday, 10 October 2005

half moon

half moon tonight, trying to figure out the best way to get publicity for my book.

Such a hot day, we went for a walk in the woods and tramped around until we'd solved some of out work problems, it was glorious out there today.

listening to 'spirits' by Keith Jarrett
i before e excpet after k...mmmmm