Sunday, May 08, 2011

Aberystwyth




I admit to feeling ambivalent about this weekend: a five hour drive, reading in public, people I don't know very well, a seaside B&B... but as ever, I was worrying unduly. The drive was long, but glorious through the kind of scenery that does good to my soul. The reading, I'm told, was fine, the people were all lovely, without exception, and even the B&B lived up to the slightly shabby stereotype so well it was hard to be concerned by its somwhat 'bedsit' qualities...



In fact it was a weekend both wonderful and challenging. Nearly forty people turned up to the launch for The Book of Ystwyth in the University Art Centre's Bookshop, ably MC'ed by Damian Walford Davies who was also one of the six poets included in the book. Apparently I have now developed such mystique that there was some discussion before I arrived about whether I would turn-up or if I would read - had I known, I would have played a more convincing Diva! However, the readings went well for all of us and the challenging part of the weekend began there, with the poets, watching their commitment to their work, no matter how 'recognised' that work was (and it varied among us). Being among creative types can be a challenge to your own creativity. I have been talking to myself about writing more for nearly a year now and so far, I have managed only this poem, at the end of last year (tellingly inspired by a Pembrokeshire cliff-top walk).



Today was the grand opening of Clive Hicks-Jenkins's Retrospective exhibition at the National Library of Wales. Grand it certainly was: a huge space, described well by one speaker as a cathedral of Clive, with side chapels. A beautifully curated exhibition full of pictures that really glowed on the walls. Despite a long acquaintance with Clive's work I realised actually that I had seen very few 'in the flesh' (and there was quite a lot of flesh!) It makes such an emourmous difference, of course, to see the work full-scale and fall-blast. Sadly, the chances of my getting back before the exhibition closes are minimal so I had to make the most of the opportunity despite the fact that, obviously, today the place was heaving with people. I have met so many lovely people, y'all should go and visit some of their blogs/websites/companies...




Poet: Andrea Selch who, among other things runs The Carolina Wren Press








Ceramicist: Meri Wells


Illustrator: Paul Bommer


Animator: Nick Appleton



And so many more...




2 comments:

marly youmans said...

Callum,

So glad we had a chance to meet! And that you did not live up to all the rumors--in which case we would not have met, it seems...

clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

I'm enormously glad that you made the long journey to Ceredigion. The Book of Ystwyth launch would have been MUCH the poorer without you. And of course, you read beautifully, as I suspected you would!

 
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