SoPo in SoHo

I attended a new poetry monthly event in the bosom of Soho tonight – SoPo.

It was pretty good. Held in chic design agency Elmwood, Carlisle Street, it drew a small but poetry-astutre crowd. Two young Turks read, Joe Dunthorne and Tom Chivers, both 20-something contemporary satirists who like to send up  everything from speed dating to poetry teachers. Watch out for these two; they already look set to knock the likes of Armitage, Farley and Rollinson off their thrones. Nice to see a new generation of poets flexing thier verbs.

But the younger men were the warm up act for veteran Derry-born Colette Bryce, who read from her fine third collection Self-Portrait in the Dark (Picador).  Colette is an old chum from my Arvon days. She once told me a funny story about queueing to have her book signed by Ted Hughes. When it was finally her turn to face the great poet, he asked her: 

“Who shall I sign it to?”

“To Colette,” she stammered.

He looked a little askance, but duly signed her copy of his poems.

When she got home she opend the volume to find that he’d written:

“To dear Ticolette, all the best, Ted.”

Now I’m rambling.

The best dedication I ever got from a poet was from Annie Freud.  At the launch of her debut collection The Best Man That Ever Was (Picador) I bagged her for an autograph. “Yes, darling,” she purred….and quickly scribbled:

To Monique,

May your life

give you intense




The kind of line you nick off another writer – though tempted I won’t do it


~ by moniqueroffey on January 21, 2009.

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