Sunday, 31 August 2008


I don't attend many reading events partly due to time restraints and partly to my reluctance to drive through unfamiliar cities and find a parking space. I can drive, I can map read - but not both at the same time.

Purely by chance I ended up in the nearest car park in Chester to Zimmercon (and one of the cheapest if I did my shopping there before I left - which I did).

So was it worth the stress of getting there? It was great for networking - and meeting the people whose names I recognised. (I was relieved to see Sam Smith who started introducing me to others - thanks.) There was a little time to chat during the breaks - just enough to say 'hello' but not bore anyone. (Mental note - next time make sure I know what I want to say to folks before launching in with 'hello.... err...')

It was also an opportunity to hear other poets read. It can be surprising how different some poets' work is when you hear them read it. And, of course, it's a chance to promote yourself by reading yours. For best results stick to the allotted time slot and know \ quickly assess the audience. (Vital if you are to make the best impact.)

I only sold one book which was disappointing. But whom it was sold to made up for that.

What do you think about reading and networking events? And do you attend?

Photos used by kind permission of Geoff Stevens and are copyright. Top - Paul Tanner with attitude. Middle - Paul Tanner, Steve Sneyd and Brendan Hawthorne. Right - Sam Smith


Crafty Green Poet said...

At one point i went to a lot of local readings, well cabaret evenings with music and poetry. I enjoyed them but still feel nervous in front of an audience. The events I used to go to have stopped happening so now i only go to events at the Book Festival and poetry Library where I'm an audience member rather than a participant. I agree - it's fascinating how different some people's work seems when they read it live...

Mistlethrush said...

Next time you go - offer to read just to keep your confidence up. I have to admit I still feel nervous sometimes so I beg to be one of the early readers which helps.

Ackworth Born said...

great to meet you in Chester even though we chatted only very briefly - yes I only made one sale too and considering I was virtually giving everything away was a bit dissapointing but I wasn't surprised.

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