Friday evening was a first for me. My first ever book launch! My friend Sally and I had discovered the perfect venue – a beautiful yurt near Canterbury called ‘The Quiet View’. Lizzie and John were perfect hosts, having set up the room in a beautiful circle – I immediately felt my nerves settle when I stepped into this special space.
This event has brought together my different creative facets – the artist, poet and musician. This was a Bardic offering, and felt like a coming of age for me, especially in the context of my Druidic practice. The musician in me has been particularly shy to perform, as she has not seen herself as ‘good enough’, and suffers nerves. I’m working on letting go of my perfectionism and with that in mind, decided to have a bit of sing, by improvising with my shruti box (a drone instrument) before launching into my poems. I do this often before starting some creative work in my studio at home, and it felt appropriate to set the scene and sing to the land we were on also.
I very much enjoyed reading my poems – this felt surprisingly natural to me. I finished by playing a song I had written on the guitar. To me it sounded all over the place, but hearing a recording a friend took, it sounded quite sweet. It’s funny how self critical we can be, isn’t it?
Here is a video my friend Hannah took of my reading of the poem ‘Parental Advisory’.
Feedback on the night was overwhelmingly warm and positive. Combining my reading with an open mic, which was hosted by professional poet/teacher Gary Studley, worked a treat. It was a real sharing and we all enjoyed that. People have asked me when I’m planning the next event. Currently there aren’t any specific plans to re-stage this event (though definitely for my next book!). I shall likely read at open mic nights. For now, I’m resting and recovering from a horrible head cold. Let’s see what the future holds.