A visit to the West Riding

Roy Marshall

A few days ago I had the great pleasure of giving a poetry reading in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

It is about nine years since I first read a poem in public- one commissioned by my friend Pete for the naming ceremony of his twins.  I don’t think I was entirely audible on that occasion, and like to think that experience gleaned in the intervening years has improved my listener’s experience.

Although any public performance invariably involves a quickening of the pulse, I  feel I have relaxed into reading my work, and can now share my poems as I would wish- confidently, clearly, at the right pace, and unimpaired by the shaking hand, racing heart and dry mouth that can beset the novice (and sometimes) the more experienced reader.

Winston Smith, who runs the Poetry Shindig, is an excellent host, and the audience were attentive and wonderfully appreciative. There were certain other vital elements in…

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