It's not just a book thing!
On Friday morning at the Cotils, Sir Andrew Motion lead a calm discussion about writing poetry, speaking about emotions, control, intensity, sound. A thoughtful, thought-provoking gentleman, his softly-spoken style only added more authority to his carefully-chosen words. After about an hour he set us the task of writing a twelve line poem and a quick half an hour of activity later, we read our endeavours back to the group. Everyone did themselves proud and, as always, it was good to spend time with a group of people working towards similar goals.
When I got into town it was immediately obvious that a Literary Festival was up and running – the Hub was back and there was a Tardis in the library. I found a stall run by The Open Road Books, a fantastically well-stocked store of second-hand paperbacks and picked up a good haul – Italo Calvino, Patrick Suskind, Nicholson Baker, Tibor Fischer – all for just eight Guernsey pounds! They’re in town for the rest of the weekend, so make sure to visit and replenish your bookshelves.
But if you’re struggling to decide what to read, you might need a book doctor. One was on hand in The Hub when Ella Berthoud, bibliotherapist with the School Of Life, presented her reference book The Novel Cure and told us what we should read to conquer our murderous thoughts (Therese Raquin by Emile Zola) or to rid us of apathy (The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain). As well as reading excerpts from the book, she talked about how she and co-author Susan Elderkin went about compiling such an innovative reference book. There’s still time to book a one-on-one bibliotherapy session with Ella – having done one of these last year I can fully recommend it.
Luke Wright, who seemed animated by similar impulses to previous Litfest performer John Cooper Clarke, had the crowd in stitches (by which I mean he was very funny, not that he beat them up) with his theatrical poems that brought exotic Essex to life. Litty, witty bar band Police Dog Hogan lead the audience into a sing-a-long and got them dancing, then proceed to sell (and dutifully sign) a lot of tea towels. Black Kat Boppers didn’t have tea towels, but were nevertheless an irresistibly tight unit who (rocked and) rolled all over the show, turning the dancefloor into a blur of activity.