Last Friday, I was lucky enough to be guest poet at one of Suffolk Poetry Society’s poetry cafes, at Browsers Bookshop in Woodbridge. Getting there took seven hours on the train from Cardiff, via London and Ipswich, but the long and contorted journey was unquestionably worth it!
The audience was warm, attentive and very knowledgeable on matters poetic. Almost all of them read a poem in the first part of the evening and I enjoyed the mix of their own work and poems by a range of published writers, including Ruth Padel, that they wanted to share with the rest of the group. Lots of questions and lively discussion followed my reading, lots of copies of Creatures were sold and lots of carrot cake was consumed – the evening couldn’t have been better!
I was struck, too, by how vibrant the Suffolk poetry scene seems to be – on the day after my visit, there was to be both a Kenneth Steven workshop and a Celtic poetry evening, for example. Fred Ellis, my hospitable and dynamic host, was brimming with ideas for new projects the whole time that I was there and I’m already looking forward to returning to the area and being involved in other Suffolk poetry events in the future.