Monday, July 30, 2007

Respect 2007 pow-wow, Roundwood Park*

Sunday, July 8th

Picture the scene in a native American teepee, with a cacophony of "sound systems" booming outside. Stephen Moran read Dundee poet Susan Kennedy's remarkable and moving, "Proper poems will not be written" followed by Mikey Delgado's sublime "There is about half a white moon tonight" and finished on his own less certain (I felt) "Ballad", all from Last Night's Dream Corrected.

Bilal Ghafoor read a fascinating and tense excerpt from "Locked in Amber", encompassing complete body shaving with blunt instruments.

See this link for more from the shy poet who read "Poems that need no Introduction. No. 1: The Introduction" (also from the previously mentioned anthology) and two other poems, including a very good evocation of an American location, with shades of "A River Runs Through It".

After decamping (literally) to the arboretum at Herald House, the evening continued with Brian Curran's "Tea with Stephan", a unique double-take on memory and assumption.

An intermission, while necessary refreshments were taken on board. Due to the influence of global warming, which seems to consist of both raininess and dryness, but in this case raininess, we then had to adjourn to the Herald boardroom, following a call to Red Woodword for the security keypad combination. There the evening continued with Vanessa Gebbie reading "On the Edge" a tale of corruption and transcendance, in which two institutionalised children rise above abuse. In Steve Moran's opinion, it was something on a par with Gorecki's Fantasia for String Quartet, which he'd thought about in the same way on hearing it performed, and that "Either everything in life is rubbish or this is it, this is what life has to offer."

Once more to the arboretum, following Ms Gebbie's departure, and Mr Ghafoor treated us to the incomparable bus/sand storm scene from "Locked in Amber".

Noël Knowall

* I want to forward apologies from all concerned for the cancellation of the short story slam. The chaos was such that it wasn't possible to go ahead with it, or even to be able to accept entries. For those since reported to have been there to take part, which it was impossible to even be aware of in the throes of the fiasco, please make yourselves known at the next slam event and you will get first refusal, though you couldn't be blamed for never having anything more to do with such events. It is only to be hoped that the rest of the festival provided some compensatory amusement. Ed

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