Southwell Library is one of those libraries you dream about - great stock, committed staff, room to move books to one side to set up a stage and create a hall for 120, a drinks license and a year-round programme. The Minster and the Minster School are to hand for really big events - 400 came from Carol Ann Duffy in my last year of involvement. In the same year I persuaded the library to open all night, with a night-long arts programme as part of the National Year of Reading. The staff did not take much persuading and again the library was the talk of the town.
It is good to see the Council continuing to support the festival, though the library has lost four workers in the recent round of library cuts. Nevertheless, the library does what it can with less staff than it should have and the festival is a major part of Nottinghamshire's literary calendar. Everyone is pleased that the Council continues to organise the event.
And me? Well, Five Leaves had an Adrian Buckner pamphlet launch at the Festival and our writer Andy Croft gave a good reading (with Tom Warner) last night, together with a fascinating talk on "the common music of poetry", which brought in football chants, his work that day in a special school, the work songs of slave and the Odyssey. I hope the lecture is published. The festival continues until 9 July (www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/poetryfestival). But I have to get used to buying tickets rather than swanning around pretending to be important.
Anyone coming to the festival can be sure it will succeed. At the opening event, in the wonderful soaring Minster building, standing below a gold Christ figure (pictured) suspended from the roof as if he was going to fly (or go SPLAT) the Dean of the Minster said a prayer for the arts. We have God on our side. We cannot fail.