If yesterday was about catching up with people I met at university, today was about meeting up with my writer friends, old and new. As Kirsten joked when we met properly in person for the first time at the launch, I haven't been captured by the 'scene' yet. I've hovered on the periphery though, mostly because of friends I've made through my reviewing gigs. The Poetry Book Fair was good fun, although Andrea was late, so I almost made it to Waterloo to join Annie and Melissa, before I doubled back to the event and stayed until the end. Only picked up stuff from Like This Press, a pamphlet (the handbound version of Ian Seed's Threadbare Fables, to match the other handbound ones I already have) and a book-in-a-box (David Berridge's Turf). Didn't really have enough cash on me to get much else! It was great to meet and chat for a bit with Nikolai Duffy though. Also finally met JT Welsch, who was doing one of the readings, and we chatted in the pub afterwards. Would've slunk off to the Starbucks across the road to read Joy after the event was over, but I ran into Emily on my way out, so I joined up with a whole group of people who were heading to the launch.
Ironically though, we didn't all make it to the launch at the same time. I turned up in a taxi with Claire, Roddy Lumsden and Tim Wells, and I think we were the latest from our group of people. The launch was a double bill, with Ross Sutherland reading from his new collection Emergency Window and Luke Kennard reading from Holophin. I really enjoy Sutherland's work, and I'm definitely going to be ordering his other full collection from Penned in the Margins when I get back to Singapore. Had heard Luke read from Holophin earlier in the day, but I reckon it's a sign of the work's strength that I still grinned at all the jokes the second time around. Had a bit of time before and after the readings to chat with people, and it was a shame that I couldn't stay longer. (Almost missed my coach back to Coventry, in fact.) It'll be odd, only being able to keep in touch with all my writer friends via Facebook/Twitter. I'm actually gutted that I probably can't be in the UK for when Claire's collection comes out from Penned in the Margins next year, or when Lindsey's comes out from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press soon. As it is, I'm already missing a chance by a couple of months to meet Ashley Stokes, when the new Unthology launches in November.