Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Musings on Ledbury

Reading at Ledbury was a very enjoyable experience. Good-sized audience, reasonable book sales, appreciative comments afterwards. Thoroughly enjoyed Glyn Maxwell's set too. It's an attractive town and I only wished I could have stayed there a little longer, rather than flying in and out the way I did. Loved the hospitality room with its seriously sloping floor that a couple of glasses of complimentary wine did nothing to straighten. Everyone was kind and friendly. I bumped into Alison McVety, Daljit Nagra & Angela France, saw Kathryn Simmonds in the audience and was introduced to Penelope Shuttle. Shedman John Davies asked me to read my Sheds poems in his shed (on camera). Neil Astley was present in the front row, having filmed Glyn do a line from "Jabberwocky", and offered an unnecessary apology for not asking me to be part of the project. (He must have forgotten the long e-mail he sent me in 2002. Unsurprising. But just as well.) Brenda Reid-Brown was the perfect host and chaperone. The local cherries were delightful. I'm told it went very well indeed.

Yet I left feeling oddly deflated. I have begun to dislike any activity which encourages the ego to take over - even reading poetry, which I have always loved. Since I took up meditation two years ago I find it much more enjoyable to divest myself of ego wherever possible, and prefer the 'inner' to the 'outer' life. Spending an afternoon feeding the ego no longer feels like a healthy thing to do; yet I love to write and appreciate opportunities to communicate my writing to an audience. Clearly I will have to find another approach.


  1. I would have thought an ego th size of a bus was essential to any writer who wants to sell books! Because unfortunately it's about selling you as well as the books. Would that, like Cyrano, we could afford to despise the idea of

    "travailler à se construire un nom
    Sur un sonnet, au lieu d'en faire d'autres"....

  2. Funny, I dreamt I recently I was attempting to steer a double-decker bus from the top deck. Very unweildy and out-of-control feeling. Much like I felt, post-reading, after leaving the Ledbury hospitality suite.

  3. Unwieldy. Hmm. Said there'd be typos.