I’ll be channelling Dickens (or maybe just Bill Murray in Scrooged) on Tuesday 2 December, when I’ll be appearing at a London fundraising event described as ‘8 Poets in 80 minutes’. Of course, if this were a haiku gathering, that tag line would read something more along the lines of ’80 Poets in 8 minutes’ but enough about me.
The Oxfam Marylebone Christmas Poetry Fundraiser is, as its name suggests, a poetry event being held in Oxfam’s Marylebone Books and Music Shop (91 Marylebone High Street) to raise much-needed funds for the , . Keen readers will be asking why I’m donating ten minutes of my time to one of my new employer’s main rivals, to which I respond: bah humbug. In fact, I’ve been invited to attend by Oxfam’s poet-in-residence, Todd Swift.
In 2005, Todd and I spent a pleasantly beer-soaked evening in what Rik Mayall and Adrain Edmondson might describe as ‘another old English pub’ (1). We actually first met at the NYC launch of Short Fuse in 2002, a mass poetry event where approximately 2,345 poets read their work. Okay, so I’m not so good with figures. Two words: HUGE.
While the gig on December 2 (which begins at 7pm, by the way) will not be quite so huge as that, I’m looking forward to it all the same, as it’ll be my first ever London performance. On the night, I’ll be reading in the company of Julian Stannard, AF Harrold, Peter Robinson, Phil Hancock, Niall McDevitt, Nancy Mattson and Joe Dunthorne. None of whom I have ever met but I look forward to hearing their poetry, and so should you.
Admission is free but a donation of ¬£8 is encouraged.
(1). Obscure reference to Mr Jolly Lives Next Door.