Friday, 7 September 2012

Poetry and more

What a busy week this has been- and one of the best sort at work. On Tuesday I was able to bring together my network of 20+ NW library staff with 9 of the 12 poets we are about to promote in a new project called Poetry Places 2. We had a great day talking about poetry and the challenges of encouraging people to borrow and read it. We heard  9 poets read some of their work, bringing their voices to life. We also recorded them reading the specific poems we will be promoting. There's still a lot of work to be done spreading the word, fixing events and making the poems as accessible as possible across the region, but a splendid start has been made.

Yesterday was also busy with other things. I held the 4th of 5 planned Dickens' reading group meetings, this time to discuss my favourite so far Hard Times. Weather and holidays kept a few people away- I hope it wasn't Dickens fatigue, but the die-hard readers who did attend,  managed an interesting discussion about the novel- is it humorous or not? What does it tell us about Dickens' own attitude to marriage, women, industry, the north?
I was heartened by some readers who not only intend to stick with this Dickens reading project to the end, but also want it to go on longer. We are already planning an extra December meeting to discuss A Christmas Carol.

From there I went to the beautiful Portico Library to hear Madeline Miller, winner of this year's Orange Prize, talk about her novel The Song of Achilles. For me this was a model book event. Just the right length, interesting and thoughtful questions, an engaging and enthusiastic author who made me want to read her book.

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