Sunday, 22 June 2008


Brilliant time, this morning! The indefatigable Cynthia Parrott of The Garden Room Cafe and Gallery (Station St, Lewes) opened up, fired up the coffee machine, set out the cakes... provided glasses for the wine.

And an impromptu writers' get-together, organised within the last ten days, took place. Writers had been alerted, by a chain of emails, to the event: a Midsummer Celebration of writing.

I can't remember how many we were, in the end. 20 or so? Mainly from Lewes they came, bearing smiles, and with poems ready to read, or snips of prose. Or, as in one case, a complete short story.

There were novelists, poets, short fiction writers. A great group.

Cynthia's coffee machine approached meltdown. Her cakes were hammered. Her glasses were brought out for the wine at almost-half-time. Writing is a thirsty business. or at least, reading is.

There was enough time for everyone to read... those who wanted to. And I have to say, so much of it was mind-bogglingly good.

What sticks in the mind? Irving Weinman's young US girl hitch hiker, from one of his novels. Offering to pay her fare with a blow job.

Clare Best's poem about shopping for false nipples.

Janet Sutherland's hard-hitting poem inspired by an article on female circumcision: Cicatrice

Catherine Smith's poem about sex in the day time, at a hotel, on holiday... worried that the hotel manager would investigate the noise.

Oh but they were all great. And I'm sorry I wasn't taking notes.. I ought to be able to match all names with their readings.

There was such a buzz, such a swell of energy. And a few of us stayed back to talk about whether we might try to organise regular performance evenings in Lewes.

Made you glad to be alive, it did!


Tania Hershman said...

Sounds wonderful! Thank goodness for events like these, life- and writer-affirming!

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Hi T

exactly. Brilliant.