Being only able to leave quite late, and just hearing that there was a weather warning out! off I set for Bath to attend and perform at the Launch Party for the Bath Japanese Festival. The evening swapped between beautiful May dusk full of dramatic skies over full leafed landscapes, and pouring rain! Arriving late, I made my way to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, a lovely building in Queen's Square. The evening alternated with performances of poetry and chill out zone time with sushi, origami, cherry blossom tattooing and other fun, and book stalls (one of which was a Spoken/Written / Cartwheels Collective Publishing one). It was great to see loads of adults all hypnotized by making origami figures! Performers of poetry included Alan Summers, haiku specialist, Japan Times award winning haiku poet, founder of With Words and co-organizer of the Festival, Hazel Hammond (whose book launch was coming soon) of splendid poetry and cherry blossom tattoos, and Carrie Etter's engaging work (latest collection out by Seren Books), Masuda Aika haiga painter and Masuda Junko haiku poet, performance poet David Johnson (also one half of Paralalia), and Lee Coombes, comic actor. There were some great poems (and the last two acts very funny), and altogether there was a good vibe, folks enjoying themselves and enthusiastic about the Festival.
One of the themes of the Festival was to raise awareness of modern slavery and the issue of people trafficking, so I performed a piece from 'The Book of Indictments', Chapter Seven on the Abolition of Slavery, followed by the first part of a chapter in the fourth in the Books of...Trilogy (yet to be named). They seemed to go down really well, people gave kind praise and copies of The B. of I. were sold on the strength of it, and some people signed up for Spoken/Written.
BIG thanks to Alan Summers for inviting me and for organizing what looks to be a great new festival on the South West scene!
And to those who bought chapbooks - I hope you enjoy them!
Check out the Bath Japanese Festival - a festival celebrating and incorporating elements of Japanese Culture including Book Arts, Films, Haiku and Renga - at;
and the Facebook page is at;