Just days ago I’d said to Suzette Newman – who was once Bob Marley’s tour manager – that if Gil Scott Heron died then the timing would be perfect. I wake at 7am to the crippling news on BBC radio that indeed he has. At 8.20am I am on BBC’s Today Programme talking of the man.
At 4pm I’m to open the poetry garden at West Norwood library as part of Lambeth Literature Festival. It’s a piece of positive news amongst the cuts that are bleeding the nation of it’s public services. So I drive across London through West Norwood. I see theatre director Shabina Aslam and pick her up.
The garden is a quad in the centre of the library. Smoke curls up from the barbeque, the community is here, and they are playing Gil Scott Heron. After listening to poets and giving a reading It’s my job to cut the ribbon and officially open the garden. “it means a great deal to me to open this garden on this day because this is the day we heard that Gil Scott heron passed and his mother, a great influence on him becoming a writer was a librarian.