Photograph of Rosie Bailey, Chris Kinsey and Kaite O’Reilly by Liz Hinkley.
It’s been an extraordinarily creative week. To Newtown in Wales on Thursday for the book launch of Chris Kinsey’s new collection of poetry, Swarf at Oriel Davies. It was my debut at a poetry reading/spoken word event and I was in terrific company with R V Bailey, Andy Croft and Jane Dards reading work, alongside the indomitable Chris Kinsey.
What impressed me with the evening Chris curated was the mixture of voices and styles from the guest readers, structured around themes explored in her collection: observations of the natural and human world, the immigrant experience, Traumatic Brain Injury… The collection is rich and varied, dense with wisdom and thoughtful provocations.
One of the greatest pleasures was to appear on the same platform as R V Bailey, who I have admired from a distance for some time – and admire even more now, close-up.
‘So, you’re a debutante’ she announced later, over a glass or two of the hard stuff. It may have been my first poetry reading, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last.