There have been a few workshops around the region in March - Jo Bell in Coventry; Emma Purshouse in Stoke - and if you're lucky to live in or near Dudley, there's still time to join in Roy McFarlane's walking workshops. We have also had pop-up poets in Coventry - in fact, there's loads going on in Coventry; have a look at their page on the website. And Paul Henry's orchard poems workshop in Hereford is a must!
Meanwhile, I've been reading some of the books in Poetry on Loan's recommended poetry books list. We're working on the lealfet now. Ten books, chosen from here, there and anywhere, that all come with personal recommendations from library staff - what could be better than that? I know some people work their way through the whole list, but of course you can pick and choose - the leaflet will give brief descriptions so you can see what you fancy. I'm not going to give away anything, but I can say at least that the books from local poets are well worth a look.
This two-year funding period for PoL is almost exactly half-way through now. We've had events in almost every authority area in the region, and it won't be long until we catch up with the last one or two. We've worked with nearly 500 people as participants in workshops and similar events, and reached audiences much higher than this, especially if you count all the people who have seen the poetry postcards. We've got exciting things planned, too - watch this space! And none of it would have happened without the enthusiasm and hard work of the library staff involved - not to mention the great ideas they have.
Now, a deep breath, and on to year two...