MERL and local publisher Two Rivers Press brought together twenty-one local poets (collectively known as a ‘rhyme of poets’ perhaps?!) on the evening of Monday 28 July to launch the publication of the new Two Rivers Press book, The Arts of Peace: An Anthology of Poems, edited by Adrian Blamires and Peter Robinson.
Forty-five people came to enjoy a glass of wine and an evening of poetry at the Poetry in the Garden event, now in its sixth year, in which each of the poets read one of their poems from the anthology. The evening was hosted by Adrian Blamires, one of the editors of the anthology, and the poets included Claire Dyer, Peter Robinson, A F Harrold, Ian House, Gill Learner, Derek Beaven, Susan Utting, Vahni Capildeo and Lesley Saunders.
This was a different arrangement from our usual ‘four poets’ format but the variety of styles blended well together, united by the themes of peace and war and, in a number of cases, drawing on family stories, wartime experiences and personal memories. As one visitor said, it was such a privilege to hear poets reading their own work.
As rain was forecast for the late afternoon at one stage, Poetry in the Garden became Poetry in the Museum but the introductory area of the museum with spot-lit stage area and dramatic screen backdrop provided an intimate yet professional-looking performance space for the readings.
Many thanks to Two Rivers Press and to all the poets for a very enjoyable evening!