Without an event of our own to go to, we wandered over to Derby to support our author Adrian Buckner (Contains Mild Peril) in relaunching his magazine Assent under its new arrangement "in partnership with Universtiy of Derby". (Are universities the new Medicis? Discuss.) Assent started life as Poetry Nottingham in 1959, and Nottingham connections are still strong with many of the 60 people in the audience from there. One of the readers, CJ Allen, is also from the 'hood. Allen is an excellent poet and reader, winner of more competitions than you can shake a stick at, and performs with wit and understated humour. The main reader was Bernard O'Donoghue, a Cork man long domiciled in Britain. He is the writer of small masterpieces which I wish he would turn into longer narrative poems, but another great reader.
Assent promises further such readings and launches, which is good, though they must talk with their sponsors about getting a website.
I was also pleased to see an old friend, Les Baynton, has started up a performance poetry night in the same venue - the fancy new Quad - free, every second Thursday of the month.