On Tuesday 29th February, De Montfort was treated to a reading by six highly-talented creative writers.
First was Daniel O'Donnell-Smith, who completed his MA in Contemporay Poetry at DMU in 2010. The language of O'Donnell-Smith's poems, with successions of evocative words such as 'shot, sparrow, shiver' suggested he placed even more importance on sound than on meaning.
Next came Claire Baldwin, a DMU graduate with an MA in Creative Writing by Independent Study. Her short story 'Frank' uses repetition and surprising shifts in content. She read only the first half, leaving the audience more than a little anxious about the speaker's actions and state of mind.
After this there was Richard Byrt, a postgraduate student of Creative Writing by Independent Study. The three poems he read included the comical 'Dear Professor Auden' and 'Typical Bloke in a Woolly Hat,' which ended with Byrt pulling woolly hats from his own bag.
Bhagwant Kaur, who has moved from her 1st class degree to M.A. studies, amused the audience, which included many students of creative writing, with her short story 'Reasons For Divorce.' The narrator's second reason was summed up in the sentence, 'He's a writer'.
Penultimately, Pam Thompson, one of the organizers of Word!, read a collection of short poems taking a fim about Leicester as their inspiration. All were dark in theme.
Finally, Alexandros Plasatis, a co-editor of the third volume of literacy magazine, Hearing Voices, gave us a story about a young Greek man seeking friendship with Egyptians working in Greece. His Greek accent provided a short cut to the heart of the story.
The six writers set a high standard which many of us in the audience plan to attain.