Three years ago, I was lucky enough to be selected for the Aldeburgh Eight Advanced Poetry Seminar, organised by the now, very sadly, discontinued Poetry Trust. I had an amazing time as an Aldeburgh Eight Poet with a free festival pass – which, for me, felt like being a child allowed to run amok in a sweet shop – followed by a five-day workshop and writing retreat at the spooky but exquisite Bruisyard Hall. I wrote something about my experience here.
Now, I’m returning to Aldeburgh for the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival which begins this Friday. I am VERY excited to be reading with Suzannah Evans, Chrissy Williams and Matt Howard on Saturday, November 3, at 10am. Our reading is called Back for More: Aldeburgh First Collections – because all four of us were once Aldeburgh Eight poets – and now we’re back but this time with our poetry collections!
As well as my own event, I’m really looking forward to seeing many poets read. I have tickets for loads of events, including readings by (deep breath) : the Norwich Cafe Writers Committee Poets (Martin Figura, Helen Ivory, Lewis Buxton, Julia Webb. Ramona Herdman, Stuart Charlesworth); Poets Who Swim and Steal the Sea (Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Emily Hasler, Fiona Moore, Patricia Helen Wooldridge); Voices from Northern Coasts (Maria Isakova Bennett, Michael Brown, John Challis, Charlotte Wetton); Poetry (Un)Fettered: Poets inspired by Blake (Sasha Dugdale, Sophie Herxheimer, Chris McCabe, Robert Peake); Queer Studio (Mary Jean Chan, Richard Scott, Swithun Cooper, Alice Hiller, Danne Jobin and Caleb Parkin); readings by Jean Sprackland, Glyn Maxwell and Zaffar Kunial; readings by Abigail Parry, Susannah Hart, Tim Richardson, Jane Commane; Winning poets in this year’s Ginkgo Prize for Ecopoetry; Virgin, Mother, Muse: Reclaim the Labels (Jacqueline Saphra, A K Blakemore, Amy Key, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough). I may well try to fit some more sessions in, energy and pocket permitting.
On top of all this, it will be wonderful to be by the sea for a few days and even though I have a long trek across the country by train ahead of me, I can’t wait. Do say hello if you’re there!