Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Well worth their Salt

Wow! The Salt Night at DMU's Cultural eXchange week showcased three very diverse poets, their work available through Salt Publishing. The contrast between the poet's styles was fascinating, yet I really felt their mutual respect and camaraderie.

John James cut a debonair figure in black, and read predominantly from his Collected Poems. I enjoyed the conversational feel of his poetry, and wide-ranging subject matter.

Tom Raworth is known for the speed of his delivery. Well, that doesn't really do justice to the sheer power of long passages read as if firing wave upon wave of bullets. I particularly enjoyed the poem in response to the Iraq war. Shock and awe, indeed.

DMU's own Simon Perril lowered the lights, and soothed us with readings from his new collection Nitrate. Simon demonstrated his technological prowess (!) by reading selected poems against a backdrop of thought-provoking collage images, representing the transition from still photography to moving pictures in the early part of the 20th Century.

Tom's final poem was one of my highlights though, as he gently turned the punched-out phrase 'Nothing in Leicester' through a small, metal musical player. Such a simple yet beautiful sound, confirming my opinion poetry is not always just about the words.

Sally Jack

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