Just one of the coinages featured on ‘The Wall of Neology’ at last night’s launch party for London Word Festival. Sam, Marie and myself are very pleased with how it went. The Gramaphone was packed with over 100 VIPs, journalists and supporters of the Festival. I know they were partly there for the free bar (!) but it was really humbling. Marie and I started proceedings with short introductions (mine in the form of a rhyming poem which, rather bizarrely, is going to be printed in Publishing News!); Gary McKeone officially opened the Festival with a blisteringly positive speech; the poets involved in Permanent Tourist (Jamie, Ben and Sandra) gave readings from their ‘poem postcards’; Sarah Bennetto and James Dowdeswell made us laugh. And then we all got very, very pissed. Which is what a launch is all about, right? This is me doing my bit.
And that’s a photo of Jody Porter taking a break from his excellent DJ set to play Scrabble. At the end of the night (it went on from 6.30 til 11pm – again, the power of the free bar…) the Scrabble players had to be forcibly removed from the venue. Excellent!
Now back to the business of actually running the Festival (nb: no more free bars, sorry).
Alexei Sayle’s appearing at our opening night. Yes, Alexei Sayle. Well excited…