I always think it’s a shame when comments written by members of the audience during a poetry reading on Zoom subsequently ‘disappear’. Here are some of the positive comments I quickly captured from my Zoom reading for Poetry Teignmouth at the Mill on 23 February 2021. I’ve anonymised the feedback here; thank you, if you recognise a comment as yours!
There was a lovely audience on-line, with a wonderful co-headlining poet, Frances Corkey Thompson, and an excellent open mic. A big thank you to Veronica Aaronson for making it all happen – expertly organizing and sensitively hosting these welcome opportunities for poets to present their work to audiences during the continuing lockdown.
Perhaps predictably, it was the first and last of my poems in the reading – and in my Dualities collection – Two Old Sticks and Firewords, that seemed to go down best at the event. A couple of people confirmed their admiration of the phrase ‘retractable as love’ (from Two Sticks), one person adding the comment “brilliant”. Another member of the audience wrote that they had “Loved (the poem) when (they) read it in the book” and that it was “Lovely to hear (it) read”. A poet I very much admire wrote that it was a “Great poem, about sticks, and inheritance” and concluded that it was a “Really lovely reading” which she subsequently described as “characterful”. Two other poets, responding to Firewords, spoke of “Strong and effective fire imagery” and observed that ‘A child’s innocence’ (was a) “lovely phrase to end on.”
My more whimsical poem Variable Geometry also seemed to go down well, with one poet responding that it was “Good to hear engineering terms in poems. Well worked in, here.” Another wrote “Love Variable Geometry!”
In the context of another poem, a member of the audience considered it a “Great poem on relationship.” A fellow Hedgehog Press poet wrote “Love these poems Sharon, good to discover you” … and suggested a book-swap (now underway!) A poet I enormously respect wrote “Such flawless writing … and I love the theme of Dualities”. Another poet I admire immensely wrote “Lovely to see you, Sharon, and hear your poems. You create such great pictures for the reader … of characters and places”. Another wrote “Really enjoyed these poems Sharon and looking forward to reading the book” … and later wrote ”Great poems, Sharon”. A poet-friend wrote “So wonderful, Sharon” … and a final comment was “Lovely poems Sharon, thanks”.
I was very encouraged by the comments received and thank the writers for their kind attention and welcome feedback. Just a few days later, I was thrilled to receive a message from a former colleague who, having recently read Dualities, wrote: ‘Thoroughly enjoyed it. Some gorgeous imagery, delightful turns of phrase and the occasional construct I simply didn’t understand – which adds to the enjoyment. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing your talent!’ I was delighted that the imagery, turns of phrase … and the puzzles too … pleased the reader!
The Poetry Teignmouth evening was an altogether happy occasion, with an excellent reading by Frances Corkey Thompson and a first rate group of open mic poets.
Copies of Dualities, which is published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, can be purchased here: https://www.hedgehogpress.co.uk/product-category/for-sale/hoglets/sharon-larkin/
or from my own bookshop on this website https://sharonlarkinjones.com/shop
or can be ordered from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dualities-Sharon-Larkin/dp/1913499278
or from Barnes and Nobel for readers in the USA: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dualities-sharon-larkin/1137592500
Here also seems a good place to confirm that I am available for further readings on Zoom … and, let’s hope, from 21 June … in person. Please do drop me a message or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange something!