Reading at The South Bank

Tonight I read at The South Bank in The Blue Room which was full. It was my book launch, sort of. It wasn’t really a launch, it was a reading and a talk, part of Poetry
For the first time I saw Washing Lines an  exhibition of poems on washing lines in a darkened room filled with music on the subject of Freedom of Expression. The audience walk into the room with a torch and discover the poems. It is performance poetry at its best. I must do it again.  

But my reading in The Blue Room was shabby. Not the audience, they were generous and kind. Why I started to talk about the wrongs of slam poetry I have no idea. It must have felt like I was slapping some of the people who were in the audience.  I have this thing about slam poetry but the audience didn’t deserve such unformed views.  The fact is, there are some good poets – brilliant ones –  coming through the slam poetry scene. But no more
than if the scene was not there, and in fact I believe less, and with less range.  The thing is,  why would I choose my book launch to talk in such a way?  I really do apologise to the good people who had the grace to come out and see a poet tonight.


1 thought on “Reading at The South Bank

  1. Hello Lemn,
    I really enjoyed your reading. As an audience member I didn't find it shabby at all.
    I've written a post about it and posted a video too.
    On the point of Slam, it's something I've heard you speak about a few times, on stage and also at the 2006 Poetry International festival debate with Luke Wright.
    I think Slams have good and bad points, and it really depends on the organisers/ ethos etc.
    What's apparant is that there isn't much informed discussion of the format. You mentioning Slams did get me thinking, but I'd like to hear more from you on Slams and how you see them. Maybe an extended blog post?

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