[ 19/10/2010 ] Poems for the Millennium Volume 3 launch
Allen Fisher, Jerome Rothenberg, Jeffrey C. Robinson, Maggie O’Sullivan and readings from anthology

Tuesday night, I went to the reading at the Anthony Burgess Centre with Maggie O’Sullivan, Allen Fisher and Jerome Rothenburg, followed by the launch of the 3rd volume of Poems for the Millenium, covering Romantic and Post-Romantic Poetries. I really enjoyed the first set of readings, especially Maggie, who’s work used to befuddle me no end. Which just goes to show that one should always have an open mind. Poetry you think is beyond you can grow on you, get under your skin; and I loved the way she used the sounds of language, the parts of words, as acts of communication in themselves: communicating, not a message, but a feel of a message.

Jerome Rothenburg was also wonderful, though his reading was interupted by my having to go to the loo. Still, I made up for it later by letting him know of a bunch of Lancashire dialect poets of the cotton famine he hadn’t heard of… The readings from the anthology were eye-opening – a wonderfully funny extract from Clare’s letters about city folk thinking every bird they hear at night must be a nightingale, some of the extracts from late Holderlin, some Issa haiku that seemed to largely involve pissing and frogs…

It was a beautiful reading, and afterwards we went to Cocotoo’s underneath the railway arches, which had a replica of the Sistine Chapel Michelangelo on its ceiling…

Steven Waling, Brando’s Hat.

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