A summary? Here goes!
Our now traditional warmup man, Derek Parkes, kicked us off with three poems – ranging from gardening, to the fatal delights of loving Miss Frobisher. Colette Coen then enthralled us with a very slick short story, Platform Souls, which has recently won a crime fiction competition (and deservedly so!). Brian Wright hit us with a barrage of football poems, a genre he seems to have made his own (or at least, one in which nobody can tackle or dribble past him).
Our much loved regular, Ingrid Lees, took to the stage with a poem about spring and a short story set in post-war East Berlin. Late arrival, John O’Connor, gave us a surprising and erudite poem/prose piece on the theme of creativity itself (leaving us with the thought that an artist takes on the weight of the world and lifts it). The ever-animated John McGlade stormed the floor with his absurdist comedic take on mental illness and cabinet politics.
Peter Russell then offered poems on the Scottish independence referendum and travels to sunny Spain, even deploying the lesser traveled template of a villanelle. Barbara Brown gave us four poems, delivered with intense emotion – even anger, concluding with an optimistic spring note regarding the sound of children at play. Afterwards, Kady Reilly produced an astounding performance concerning a night of hell spent in A&E. It was as if we were there, and as if Ms Reilly was a tape-recorder, such were her powers of recollection of the kind of Glasgow patois that keeps hope alive, on a bad night in the National Health Service.
Ann McKinnon recited five poems in Scots and English, ranging from Jack Vettriano’s dance of love to memories of a 1950s Glasgow Central Station. Orla McDonald regaled us next with her mellifluous Irish accent and a pleasantly meandering tale of authors, actresses, and the hypnotic pub scene of Dublin. Joycean, if we felt a need to nail it. Our good friend and writing group regular, Paula Khan, then gave us four poems of considerable wit, clarity, and beauty, ranging from the spirit of poetry itself speaking back to the poet (“in fact I wasn’t talking to you at all”) to the art of erotic postcard writing.
Frances Corr silenced all gathered, with a short story of intense insight and feeling – contrasting the dying hours of a man in a hospice with the banality and vanity of a world raging outside. Finally, Lesley McKay led us out with a trio of poems ranging from an ode to Rupert Murdoch (tongue in bitter cheek!) to her grandfather’s participation in World War One, followed by Mary Thomson’s poems concerning travels through fifty cities in twenty years. Her closing image was of how snow in Antwerp makes us walk inside the footsteps of others.