Saturday, September 22, 2007

John McAuliffe at Manky Poets

I haven't been to Manky Poets for ages. It's run by copland smith (who spells his name without capitals) and is held in Chorlton Library one Friday each month 7.30-9.30. The first half is an open session in which audience members read - beginners and experienced poets alike - and then after the break there's always an invited guest.

Last night I went and found that the numbers had grown hugely in my absence - I arrived rather late and had to stand, as the only seat available was way at the front. Typical me: there was one seat near the back, and I promptly sat down on it, only to realize when the poet reading finished and came towards me looking stymied that I was not only sitting on her seat but on her bag!

Well, last night's guest was John McAuliffe, and a thoroughly enjoyable reading it was. He's a warm character and reads engagingly and his poems are funny and moving and at once sensuous and muscular. What I loved about them most was their concern with a kind of doubleness of both place and time: Ireland recalled in England, moments triggering the memory of others, layered and altered by their layering.

Great stuff. And great that copland has made Manks the success it is.

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