So I was writing this big gushing thing about how much I liked last Wednesday's The Other Room, but I went gushing on and on and didn't really say all that much about the actual poetry. So here I'm going to say something [not much] about the writers, and even less about the writing. Enjoy. Don't forget to turn your disappointment into another click on my wep-bage. Here is my head:
Joanne Ashcroft read from her Purple Moose Prize-winning collection Maps and Love Songs for Mina Loy, which I'd heard some of before, and heard discussed during the Edge Hill University symposium on literary collaboration. Even in performance, you get the sense of the formal inventiveness
inherent in the work. She also read from a work in progress, 'What the Tree Said'. This impressed me with its soughing song and vogelsang
vibrancy, which she and her tree performed well.
Next up was E. J. McAdams, who is from New York
and launched straight into a pressurised whisper of a poem. The main
thing I reacted to with his work was his conceptual prowess. He reacted
to a 'movement research' performance,
in the aforementioned city, by essentially coming up with a found poem
piece with added formal ingenuity - for example, using one of my fave
writing alignments ever, the boustrophedon ['as the ox plows'], to shape his poem.
To paraphrase him, this project became about reappropriating the city in
terms of language. He and Scott Thurston performed his last piece together, which was nice.
Then a wee break and some Robinson's Double Hop, thanks to Tim Allen there.
crescendoed the night with a collection of poems from various places,
one from collaboration, then a few from a collection of hers. The
first overriding feelings I got from her work were an incredibly deft
wit - which results in a lot of laughter - but also a powerfully
hygienic use of imagery, very reminiscent of the best haiku. I regret that I can't remember which works she read from respectively, but - as ever - the whole point of me giving you links is that you check'em out four Yusef...
Sow goo und hay valook. And don't forget to check out my next [gushing] look at a lovely reading. Peace and love xox
UPDATE: You can check out videos of the performances by clicking on the names - Joanne Ashcroft, E. J. McAdams, Lila Matsumoto.