It’s the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival this weekend. Anyone who is Anybody in the Poetry World will be there. Or most of the Somebodies, anyway. I imagine.
I’m not there. I’m not going. I have been to Aldeburgh – for the music festival, a couple of years ago. But the Poetry Festival clashes with my birthday, and oddly (or not) I don’t want to spend my birthday at a poetry festival. Therefore, I am not a Real Poet, as I have confessed before.
I find the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair stimulating in an overwhelming way. Not to mention the hit my wallet takes. So the idea of three whole days immersed in poetry events, readings, debates, all those names I should know, should have read, with no means of escape – well, frankly, the idea terrifies me. Perhaps I am more of a homebody than I realised. Perhaps I can only take my poetry in short, sharp doses. Maybe it’s willful. No doubt I am missing out and need to get over myself.
Instead, for my birthday, I’m planning a lie-in (I’m working again… I need a lie-in), brunch at a local café, and then a trip to the Small Publishers’ Fair at Conway Hall. I’ll need a drink and a debrief after that, I’m sure. On Sunday, it’s the Poetry Library Open Day and their provocatively titled live event The End of the Poem (which I had retitled in my head as The Death of the Poem). So it seems not everybody will be at Aldeburgh.
But for those of you who are – have a whale of a time! I look forward to reading your accounts. And thanks for going, so that I don’t have to.