Reading at Arts Festivals, Part Two

16 Oct

Last week, I read at the Writers’ Café as part of Ip-Lit, Ipswich’s new literary festival. I was much less nervous than last time – I still have no idea where those nerves came from – and my reading was only hampered by the woeful sound system employed. It was still a waste of time, though. Only humorous short stories or gimmicky poems appeared to make any impact. And that’s really not my metier. My friend J Huw Evans, both a novelist and a very entertaining performance poet, provided the evening’s highlight and gained the best response. To quote and adapt another poet, ‘I am not John Cooper Clarke, nor was meant to be…’ I probably should have read something gimmick-laden along the following lines:

Short Story

A shout

‘Don’t shoot!’

I shan’t

Thou shalt

A door slammed shut

A shot

A blood-soaked shirt

Breath short

Shit…

Blank sheet

But I didn’t. And don’t think I will. I’d rather spend my time writing or reading. Farewell, then, for the moment at least, literary festivals…

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J Huw Evans reads in the distance…

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PSR reads in the blurry foreground…

Text and images © PSR 2013

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4 Responses to “Reading at Arts Festivals, Part Two”

  1. jhuwevans October 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Perhaps the real problem is the audience.
    If we had the opportunity to read to agents or publishers rather than other, less accomplished, wannabes we might at least be pitching to the people who could do us some good instead.
    The event we attended seemed to have few other people in the audience than readers, their friends and the organisers. It is poorly advertised and limited in ambition. If I get the time and inclination I will suggest to them that they hold auditions and use a better venue for a performance. I doubt they’ll be interested so perhaps I’ll start a radical fringe event.

  2. Paul Sutton Reeves October 17, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    ‘Tis probably true, Huw. I think I’ll put the next reading on hold until I’ve won the Nobel Prize. Radical sounds good, though.

  3. www.laurensapala.com October 18, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I still applaud you for getting up and doing it. It takes real guts to read your work in front of an audience. Bravo sir!

  4. Paul Sutton Reeves October 19, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Lauren and thanks for the applause!

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