Eric Gregory Awards 2009

I attended the readings of the five new Eric Gregory Award winners on Friday night. I went with friend and fellow writer David McCandless. The five young winners are: Liz Berry, James Brookes, Swithun Cooper, Alex McCrae and Sam Riviere. It was a fairly packed house, the event was held in the Betsy Trotwood, hosted by Roddy Lumsden, ex-Eric Gregory award winner and patron Saint of London’s live poetry world. Someone canonise Roddy immediately please. Not only is he a huge supporter of young and not-so-young new poets and their writing, he’s a great teacher too.

Of the new Eric Gregory winners, I think the outright stars were Swithun Cooper and his mad-scientist poems, his nervous demeanour and his NHS specs and matching cowboy shirt. Also, Sam Riviere read well and his poems were riveting. One about his poet uncle, another about knocking on people’s front door for Amnesty International went down well.

This weekend I went to witness one of my best friends get married, Matthew Bowes; he married Kate Ellis. I went with four girl friends. We were late and had to get changed in a lay-by on the way. Funny at the time.

Lots of interesting people at the wedding, including Helena Atlee, grandaughter of Clement Atlee, 90’s TV svengali Charlie Parsons and the musician and legendary Cat Weazle Club host Matt Sage.

Matt, like my mentor the poet John Moat (founder of the Arvon Foundation) knows a few things about words. Not many know them to be magic spells.  He wore a dragonfly brooch (brooch: good word) which has been pestering my dreams.


~ by moniqueroffey on June 22, 2009.

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