So, last night I went along to the UK launch of Harry Owen’s new poetry collection, Five Books of Marriage. And it was great. The room was filled and everyone, it seemed, enjoyed his reading and his talk as much as me. And what a great collection it is.

I was also able to meet some cool people (Harry, obviously, included), but also the lovely Joy Winkler again, and for the first time, the truly cool Jo Bell (who, as well as being a top poet and former county laureate, is also the coordinator of National Poetry Day – as mentioned here on Thursday – lucky I did, eh!).
And on that theme, I forgot to mention that when I was eating my lunch before heading off to run the workshop on Thursday, National Poetry Day was being embraced by none other than Sky Sports News, who had sports fans penning and sending in their own sports themed poems. Which was great to see.
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And I have to confess that I shed a tear or few listening to Neil Gaiman reading the last chapter of The Graveyard Book the other night. The book is a modern classic in my eyes – truly wonderful. It has everything – it’s fun, slightly scary, has characters you love or hate or laugh at, and, most of all, it’s a great story, wonderfully told. It could be, again in my eyes, the perfect family movie.
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And now some not so great news.
Here’s the thing. You run a writing group. You impress upon its members the need to check work for spellings, typos, errors etc. You get grouchy when they don’t do it properly. You tell them that you can’t stress enough just how important it is to get it right. After all, once it’s gone to print there’s nothing can be done.
Check your work, folks. Make sure it’s as close to perfect as it can be.
And they do, pretty much. So you’re relieved. And happy and proud.
And then (say, today) your girlfriend’s flicking through the collection you’ve spent far too long on (much of that was nagging about proofing, and correcting things) and she shows you the most glaringly stupid error in the world.
And it’s your mistake. In the introduction.
Bugger.
Sorry.
I do know how to spell, honest.
It’s Joy Winkler. I was thanking Joy Winkler for spending time with the group. Not Wilkner.
Honestly.
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And lastly, but by no means leastly – here’s wishing the fab Tania Hershman all the very best for her book launch party tonight, and also wishing the equally fab Anne Brooke all the best too, after her recent trip to the hospital.
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