Sketchbooks

Sketchbooks

The Usher Gallery in Lincoln is currently hosting this engrossing exhibition of sketchbooks. Worth a visit if, like me, you love the voyeurism of rummaging through someone else’s creative process, just make sure you have plenty of time to spare.

Snow in Lincoln

Snow in Lincoln

I know it is shameful when a little bit of snow brings this country to a halt, but in the past few days we have had more snow in Lincoln than I’ve ever seen fall at one time, and it’s still coming down!

Meeting the Poet Laureate

Meeting the Poet Laureate

This evening I was fortunate enough to go to a poetry reading by Carol Ann Duffy. Now I know a lot of people might think of a poetry reading as a stuffy, dry affair but this was far from it.

My expectations were high because I am a massive fan of Duffy’s work. I bought The World’s Wife when I was the tender age of nineteen. I loved it. It was funny and clever and thoughtful. I had previously never considered that poetry could be this much fun. I’ve bought every collection she has had published since. I have to say I think it’s fantastic that Duffy’s poetry is studied in schools now, I kind of wish it had been when I was there.

So back to the evening: less than ideal sound levels meant that she was stooping over towards the microphone to ensure we could all hear properly, and she did it with grace and humour, although it can’t have been a comfortable position to stand in for an hour. The poems, funny on the page, were hilarious when read by their charismatic author. And the stories she told us about how the poems came about, or things that had come from writing them were similarly entertaining. I dragged along a friend who had never read a word of her poetry, and I think he left a convert. It was utterly thrilling meeting her for a book signing afterwards and it was a marvelous evening. If you ever get the chance to hear her, I suggest you do so.