Friday, 20 May 2011

The Baron and the Bats

Michael Baron is living proof that as you get older you (can) get better, or at least a lot more artistically productive. Michael edited two books for Five Leaves, On a Bat's Wing and, with Andy Croft and Jenny Swann, The Night Shift - two poetry anthologies about bats, and about the world of night, Michael contributing the section on the world of nature by night. Since then he's brought out a small collection of his own, put up poetry posters all over Cockermouth as part of the campaign to reinvigorate the town after its flood last year, and edited a big collection of poems by writers - more than you would think - associated with the place. He is currently also working on a long term project bringing poetry by Israeli and Palestinian poets together. All this, and more, come well into his retirement after 40 years in the law. All power to him. More details here:
Michael and I launched the bat book some time ago at the AGM of the Bat Conservation Trust. I live in the world of literature and politics so was expecting to be met by badly-dressed obsessives, something like the worlds I know. Far from it, the majority attending were much younger than me, more female, worked in architecture, planning and science and certainly the females happily chatted at the break about what they were going to wear at the social that night. Then they went into their workshops to discuss bat "commuter routes" and what you can learn from studying the contents of bat poo. Hurrah! They were eccentrics after all. Michael donated his royalties for the book to the BCT. Good for him. You can order it here:

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