Billed as A WORLD-PREMIERE READING BY FOUR POETS WHO UNSETTLED ENGLAND AND FREAKED OUT AMERICA, this amazing event happened at The Horse Hospital last week. And I was lucky enough to be there. Lucky in the sense that I only found out about it the night before, via the marmite medium of facebook, and even luckier to get babysitting in place and a ticket all organised by the following lunchtime.
I hadn’t been to The Horse Hospital in several years, possibly the last time pre-motherhood, making it six-ish years ago. Got there to find the door shut, and waited for it to open with a variety of wind blown, rain speckled, poetic sorts. This included, as I found out later, Tom Raworth himself, who cheerily refused shelter from someone’s vast golf umbrella
Inside the door, down the steep slope of flat square cobbles and through the heavy maroon curtain into the intimate Snow White (black, white and red) space of the venue. Chairs lined up infront of stage, people milling, expectant.
Same as it ever was- how reassuring and refreshing- how good to be back finally.
And back for this event- although I have heard of Tom Raworth and Andrei Codrescu and possibly been aware of the names of the other two esteemed poets, Anselm Hollo and Gunnar Harding. I have to admit that until that evening I was not familiar with any of their work. It was after reading the short biographies that I knew I had to try and get to this event, and I was very glad I did.
What a steep poetry learning curve in one night! All were different, wonderful, mesmerising, human. When I left I felt as if my heart was stuffed with treasure.