The same way video killed the radio star the internet kills the evaluation form. I’ve spent the week in West Yorkshire at The Arvon Foundation in Lumb Bank with co-tutor Hannah Pool. It’s been a blast. Our mid week guest author was the inimitable Rosie Garland. The Garland is fun, deep articulate angered and at peace – all in one person. We are smitten. The week ended with something invented on my course years ago. It is The Performance of Reading.
At 6pm on friday (the last day) of the residential course all poems articles and short stories written throughout the week are suspended from string criss-crossing the library ceiling. This task is completed by three students. Gorecki’s Sorrowful songs is the only sound. The lights are switched off and the work is plunged into darkness.
The gallery opening is 8.30pm after the last dinner. Each entrant is given a torch and one instruction – no speaking. It is a beautiful beautiful thing. The shifting torchlight, Gorecki, and the intimate emotional essential connection with words.