Sunday, January 21, 2018

Robert Sheppard; Mini set list: Rodge's party

Even a little reading is a reading: even a private reading is a reading.

Rodge Glass invited a number of writers (Alan Bissett, his wife, whose name I didn't catch, Billy Cowan, Caroline Bird, me, James Byrne, in that order) to read. Everybody was positive and succinct.

Happy Birthday!

I'd asked what he wanted. He said: 'Oh, something mid-lifey, Brexity'. He got it:

'Parade: Burnt Journal 1978', for him, specially written; plus 3 of the recent sonnets, 2 Wyatts,

'Hap 13' about the 'almost most' who voted Remain.
'Hap 15' which does have a line about 'mid-life crisis'...,

and 'Sea View'. I spoke of how post-Brexit will leave Britain a huge dogging site run by Michael Gove: he spoke recently, walking into my tropes, of wanting to 'get people more active in the environment'. I said - judging from some Twitterfeeds - they already are! 'Little Bo Peep' of the poem is a Sussex dogger (or he says he is; I take people at their word: Trump, Boris Johnson, all of them....I entertained. I haven't mastered pausing to let people laugh (a new experience for me).

I write about the Earl of Surrey sonnets here . See here for one reference to my last sequence, which 'Sea View' comes from, feeding off of the sonnets of Charlotte Smith.