East Anglia Bylines writer Aidan Baker tells of taking part in music and poetry events in Cambridge earlier this month.
Allow me to show off a couple of occasions in Cambridge where I presented some of my own verse.
The first was a musical evening, on Saturday 9 April, in St Thomas’ Hall in Ancaster Way. It was in aid of building repairs to St Martin’s Church, which owns St Thomas’ Hall and has been out of use since storm damage last year. The event boasted contributors from Iran, Taiwan, and China. Mike Cole kindly accompanied me in songs I’d written to place-named hymn tunes. Readers may remember my interest in those.
The second was a much bigger thing, a Cambridge Festival event. ‘Plants, discovery, poetry’ was a reading, on Sunday 10 April, in Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden. Special guest was Matt Howard, an eco-poet with a strong track record: his debut collection Gall won the 2018 East Anglian Book Award for Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2019 Seamus Heaney Centre First Collection Prize. Matt co-founded the RSPB/Rialto Nature and Place Poetry Competition in 2011 and has an impressive string of residencies to his name, including with the Cambridge Conservation Institute. Others taking part were Anne Thomas, whose brainchild the event was, Rosalind Moran, and Ann Gray. An illustrious company to find myself in! I read three poems celebrating trees.
Does anyone else have any creative outings they’d like to tell us of? Or anything you’d like us to add to our East Anglian festivals calendar?