In the morning I am driven to Antrim Library by Valerie another Librarian. And if you are thinking of libnrarians as some sort of passive dispenser of the Shhh then you’ll be way of the mark. I’ve always thought the library as the loudest palce on the high street all those screaming books.
I go into the room where I shall read but the young people from Parkhall College arrive forty minutes late: Shenanigans orchestrated by their teacher to the detriment of their pupils. Afterwards I had lunch at The Dunsilly Hotel and then gave a final reading back at the libarary to young out of work men who have enough gumption to be on time and more reason not to be there. Good on them.
“What have you been doing this morning ” I asked. “Sex education” said one plucky lad and then with no irony “It was a pain in the arse.” I left it hanging in the air a little “ really??” I said with my eyebrows raised “really?” Both he and
his mates thought for a while and then burst out laughing. If sex education was
a pain in the arse I think you should make a complaint cause that’s new
teaching technique that I ahven’t heard of. I began my reading then took questions. They were ace.
In fact my whole time here at the state of the art Antrim library has been ace: qualitative and extremely well put together. Back in Belfast on the home strait I had coffee with poet Sinead Morrissey who teaches at Queens University in Belfast. I got Sinead mixed up and thought she was someone else: Sian
Hughes. But it was a pleasure to meet her at Clements all the same and she wasn’t offended by my total mix up.
More to the point I had watched her read poetry at The TS Elliot Prize in London a few weeks ago so we talked for a while and said goodbye. Time to fly home. Before I left Dave the owner of No Alibi’s bookshop said “A young man came into the bookshop today for one of your books. He was at your reading last night. And he left this.” It was a postcard. It said
“I never trust a man who claims to be honest. You didn’t but convinced none the less that poets deal in universal truth. So why say in ten words what you can say in just two? Thank you. “