Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Barnsley Poet - Ian McMillan

The North End Writers hosted a wonderful evening at the Lighthouse in Anfield. I have not enjoyed myself so much in a very long time. Lisa and I laughed until we cried, my new mascara was in rivulets down my cheeks.

Ian McMillan is a great poet, a funny man and a very warm human being.

He talked a bit about his role as the official poet in residence at Barnsley FC - ten years now since they made it albeit briefly to the Premiership. I was also surprised to hear him say it was 27 years since Northern Arts paid him to give up work and concentrate on his poetry. And yet even then he must post-date the Monty Python sketch - tungsten carbide drill and all.

His Big Family Show was designed to appeal to children, he works with schools a lot, but we are all children at heart so we all laughed at the poem about the "hole in the hall" and some of the notices he had stolen from places he had visited. From a school in Halifax he had a sign which read "Waste food" and other which said "Dirty dishes" - odd instructions to give the pupils he said. But my favourite was our reciting together the poem we wrote as a group "Midnight at the Anfield Gaumont" - the poem was rubbish but the recitation was great.

I bought a poetry book and got him to sign it for me at the end and we went away still laughing and giggling.

I hope they remember to let me know about future events, a smashing venue, I look forward to returning.

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