Sates of Independence

I had a fabulous time on Sunday at this annual event which takes place at De Montfort University in Leicester.

There is always a great atmosphere at this book fair and readings event which hosts a large number of independent press stalls manned (and womanned) in most instances by publishers and writers, many of whom manage to combine both of these passions while making a living elsewhere.

Poetry is particularly well represented at the event with stalls from Five Leaves, Shearsman , Leaf, Flarestack, Nine Arches and Shoestring to name but a few.

The Leicester University based New Walk magazine also had a stall, and I was lucky enough to read again with Rory Waterman, Carcanet poet and co-editor of the magazine along with Leicester University’s Nick Everett. You can read a warm review of our reading at Tim Love’s

As usual I missed some of the readings I would have liked to have seen, mainly due to the fact that I was too busy bumping into and chatting with writer friends like poet and publisher Alan Baker, poet and reviewer DA Prince, the poet and Interpreters House editor Martin Malone and my own editor, the brilliant John Lucas.  My son also enjoyed the company, quietly sharing a few of his own poems with attentive and appreciative listeners and learning how to set type and print a card for his mum.

I did manage to see a gripping and eclectic reading by  Oystercatcher Press and Open House Editions poets Alan Baker, Kathleen Bell, and Sarah Crewe.  You can read more about this and other events on David Clarke’s excellent blog.


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