A really delightful book launch for Emma Lee’s new chapbook ‘Mimicking a Snowdrop‘. The most exquisitely presented launch, including snowdrop napkins and 3 huge home-baked cakes.
The cakes may have been more of a hit than the poems… There were silk snowdrops too.
One of the advantages of hearing a poet read their own poems it that you’re hearing the poem in the voice it was written for. This isn’t necessary the poet’s own voice. Poetry (fiction) gives the writer the opportunity to try out another’s voice, to explore a situation from differing perspectives or bring a historical voice to life. You can also hear the intended rhythm of the poem. Some poets read over every line break as if it were an enjambment, others make a slight, deliberate pause. A poet may emphasise words or use stress patterns differently from a reader; accents play a part too. A relaxed drawl gives a poem a different rhythm to a rapid-fire splatter of words.
Another advantage is that there’s an opportunity to hear more about the background to some of the poems. Whilst poems need to be able to stand alone without copious notes and/or an introduction, a reading, rather than an open mic slot or a slam, can offer space for a poet to talk about the inspiration behind a poem. I’ve blogged about the background to the title poem, “Mimicking a Snowdrop” before and it was good to have the opportunity to talk about it at my reading.
At the launch, I read (where the poems are available on-line in a single click without scrolling, I’ve linked to them):
“Bow Road London’s East End”
“Before and After at Gower’s Walk”
“Mimicking a Snowdrop”
“Put the baby in the filing cabinet”
“Still life with a Static Matrix Screen Saver”
“Bolero to ‘She’s Like the Wind’”
One audience member offered to write a review so I’ll post a link when it’s available.
Thynks Publications have described “Mimicking a Snowdrop” as like “Moving through a picture gallery with paintings packed with detail. At the same time the movement is one of listening to a story teller who shifts from story to story leaving the listener with a desire to know more.”
Friends (Quaker) Meeting House in Leicester is a lovely venue to read in. The hall was designed with making it easy to hear speakers in mind and so it’s possible to read without using a microphone. There are no awkward echoes either. The seating layout can be altered to suit.
This is likely to be the last blog post of 2014. 2015 will kick off with more reviews.