Friday, November 10, 2006

Nancy Breaks Her Silence

What a lovely audience -- in The Crypt at St Mary's Islington, November 9.

Back in London one more time. I can't think when I last read with Nancy, but I suppose it was sometime in the nineties, that long lost decade when we shared this city and all its ups and downs. After long silences from both of us we have both published new collections this year. Hers, Writing With Mercury, is the long-awaited successor to Maria Breaks Her Silence (1989). A jazzy ol' cover on the new book by and as a tribute to her friend Elaine Kowalsky, who was killed by a car last year when she was crossing the street on her way to a birthday party - a sad and sudden end.

Nancy's fetching scarf, beautiful book and inspiring reading.

Nancy and Mike have been running this Islington-based, more or less bi-monthly readings series Poetry in the Crypt for some years now and it's a feel-good venture, no pay for the poets and all proceeds going to the St Mary's homelessness project. Normally there is an open mic as well as a feature reader or two, but not tonight due to the addition of music to the bill. It was good fun with a generous audience (in all senses) and more people I wanted to catch up with and meet than I managed to talk to. Sold out of all the copies of Cartography that I'd schlepped across the ocean for the occasion which was very good news for my baggage weight; maybe not such good news in case I do more readings before my year is up! Anyone who wants one can find it on ABE or (it comes up in and as well, very mysterious) or of course try ordering from your local bookshop.

Mike at the mic.

All in all a wonderful evening. I even enjoyed even being heckled by fireworks - a timely volley of them went off just as I was reading the lines "I feel sometimes that everything happens to me" in my traditional final poem Another Life to Live at the Edge of the Young and Restless Days of our Lives.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Elaine Kowalsky was my older sister. I think of her every day.

My brother Barry and Elton her husband buried her ashes last summer in All Saints Cemetery near the town of Clanwilliam, Manitoba.

Ken Kowalsky

1:50 p.m.  

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