This week’s events are top-heavy with poetry readings. Have our novelist friends squirreled themselves away to write tomes in their Christmas cards, we wonder?
Monday: Head to the RADA Foyer Bar for a reading from the Poetry School’s third anthology, I am twenty people! All inferences to the contrary, there will actually be six, not twenty, new poets reading from their work. Free, 7.00pm.
Tuesday: We were reminded last week that poetry isn’t just the stuff of cloud-dwelling couch dreamers and sonnet-writing romantics. Housmans radical booksellers hosts the Torriano Poets for Peace tonight, providing further proof that poetry and politics so often intersect. Free, 6.30pm.
Wednesday: Fatigued by your compatriots’ inability to express themselves in anything less than adjectival gratuitousness, needless verbosity, and calculated obtuseness? Wish we would just say things in plain English? The Book Grocer blushes apologetically and makes a mental note to attend today’s lecture by John Wild of the Plain English Campaign at the Hanwell Library, 10.30–11.45am. Free, but call ahead to reserve a ticket: (020) 8567 5041.
Thursday: We like two events today and find ourselves unable to choose. The beauty of the thing is that we don’t have to, and neither do you. Steal some time at lunch for the Michael Holden All Ears signing at Borders Fleet Street, from 1.00pm. Holden’s book, which grew out of a regular Saturday Guardian column, documents one of the occasionally amusing, more frequently irritating facts of urban living: being forced to listen to other people’s – sometimes inane, sometimes outrageous – conversations.
Will Self has certainly had plenty to say about the urban landscape. Pick up a copy of his recently published Psychogeography, an outgrowth of columns written for the Independent, and stop by Blackwell’s Charing Cross for a free signing, complete with mulled wine and mince pies (We like!), 6.30–7.30pm.
Friday: Germaine Greer appears at the National Theatre to discuss Shakespeare’s Wife, her new book on – wait for it – Shakespeare’s wife. Greer takes up the cause of the much-maligned woman to whom Shakespeare left his second-best bed, reassessing Ann Hathaway's reputation within the context of social history and concluding that she deserves more credit for her role in Shakespeare’s achievements and, more controversially, that it is the work of misogynistic scholars that has denied Hathaway her proper due. Sit back and wait for a Shakespearean scholar tomato fight to ensue. 6.00pm.
Planning ahead: In her first public appearance since winning the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature, Doris Lessing is coming to the Southbank Centre on 22 January 2008 at 7.30pm, to discuss her life as a writer. £13.50 nonmembers, £12 members, 50 percent off concessions. Book ahead, as we think this event likely to sell out.
Image courtesy of Alek S.’s Flickr photostream