Saturday, October 06, 2007

Reading at Independents Day

Just back from Manchester Literature Festival's day for independent presses at the Lowry in Salford and my first reading from Balancing on the Edge of the World.

Well, I guess twelve noon is not a good time to get people flocking to a reading, especially somewhere a bit off the beaten track, and actually I got a dozen or so, so I guess that wasn't bad going!! The worst thing was following Chloe Poems, that fantastically seasoned and hilarious (as well as moving) performer, dressed today as Sandie Shaw, and who doubled up before his own gig crying: 'What is this hour of eleven-thirty in the morning: I don't know it!'

You see, we matched: blue and red! (Well, OK, the red's just in Chloes' cheeks, and I was in black too.) And we both read stuff set in Manchester and about being drunk and out on the town! (Chloe's book of poems is The Lil Ol' Book o' Manchester.) And during his reading Chloe had a brilliant tantrum about this big posh building we were reading in, which can be built while people are homeless - after which I read my story which begins with a homeless guy. Oh, we Manky guys - so angry, yet so swish and abandoned!!

Here's Chloe, bless him, listening to me reading:

And here's the view our wardrobes were competing with - through the window right behind us:

Later, at two, fellow Salt author Shamshad Khan read and got the audience, which had begun to swell by then, miaowing and barking like cats and dogs.

Finally I attended a very interesting panel discussion on independent publishing chaired by DJ Taylor, who came out with this line which we should all get engraved on our foreheads: 'We live in a culture that's based on the glorification of stupidity.'


Caroline said...

You read beautifully. I am in awe.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Thank you so much for coming, Caroline!