Get 27 women writers, plus friends and supporters, in a downstairs bar on a balmy September evening, and you get lots of positive energy, strong readings, an appreciative and attentive audience, and a plethora of verbal surprises. The occasion was the launch of the second Loose Muse anthology, featuring poetry, stories and short plays by writers who have read at Agnes Meadows’ monthly event for women writers. I’m very pleased to have two poems included in the anthology, and read one at the launch. I hardly had time to get nervous as I was riveted by the other performances. Antonia Reed transfixed us from the start with her poem Medea. Joolz Sparkes read her slow-building, hard-hitting Ayers Rock. You by Sandra Vacciana is both powerful and controlled, as was her performance. There was a hilarious monologue by Claire Booker, a quirky seaside tale Up from Under from Jill Abrams, Isabel White reading with gothic relish the start of her story Keats and the Theatre of Blood, and much much more.
Get 35 women writers in said anthology, and you get that energy and inventive range on the page, as well as a stunning cover from Lorraine Clarke. Many thanks to Agnes and her editorial team for making this happen.