I spent a lovely long weekend in Derbyshire. I visited ChristmasWorld (photos to follow), read, and fed the ducks with my niece – or, rather, fed bread to the ducks with my niece. I feel wonderful after the break and seem to have brought some of my calm back with me.
I returned yesterday in time to go to Sparks Night at the Three and Ten. Sparks night is a short story night which distinguishes itself from other local nights by adding a visual element. A photograph is commissioned for each story and projected behind the reader. I've been wondering for a while about the addition of musical/visual additions to spoken word and it seems to work very well indeed, helping to focus attention on the reader.
The standard of the stories and the readings were high. The night started with Joel William's story about dwarves (as seen in Penumbra #3 – full text also available in this PDF). There was also a brilliant story about physics and grief, but my favourite was Porn Mallow by Sara Crowley (full text available here). The reader said she was nervous, but did a brilliant job. The photographs were also very good and had a range of different styles.
It's exciting that Brighton has so many live literature events at the moment and that they're of such a high standard. I'll definitely be at the next Sparks night in four weeks time.