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The Great Grog: Where were you all?

11/02/2008

If you’re one of those people who thought about going to the reading at the Great Grog last night but decided to stay in and watch, oh I don’t know, the Antiques Roadshow, kick yourself. No: harder. Colin Will and Rob Mackenzie have already blogged on the night, so I won’t go on at length, but I can’t help adding my enthusiasm. It was an excellent reading, even though the audience was meagre. If Rob keeps up this standard of event (and I see no reason to doubt he will), the Great Grog will establish itself as one of the places to read and be read to in Scotland.

It’s invidious to single anyone out on such an evening, but it was particularly good to hear and meet Cheryl Follon. She was a Scottish Poetry Library new voice at the same time as me but our paths had never actually crossed because I missed her reading at the Shore Poets a couple of years back. She’s a tremendous reader–strong, feisty, dramatic but not overly performancy–and a fun, energetic individual.

I bought Cheryl’s book All Your Talk and Alexander Hutchinson‘s Scales Dog. Given that I’m on a tight budget, that says something. Sandy is one of those Scottish poets who, like the late Gael Turnbull, can step from something experimental into something deftly formal with delightful ease. Plus he sings.

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