Well, the evening was a triumph! The launch audience was in their seats promptly at 7:30 (never experienced that before!) so we began. I spieled on about the press, poetry, etc. and then read two of Kelly Sullivan’s as she was teaching in New York. Then Art Allen had the difficult task of going first. He read beautifully and movingly from his first pamphlet Here birds are about the recent death of his father. Sheila Hamilton’s reading was a masterclass in telling just enough about each poem so the audience could grasp the historical themes, etc. without giving it all away. Then we had an interval after which David Sergeant stunned us with an unanticipated ‘performance’ of his work! Spontaneous applause after the first recitation of Poor Tom Gives the State of the Nation Address. Always impressive when a poet speaks, instead of reads, their work. His Pronoun Utopia collection is a delight. Stephen Duncan and his family finished up the evening with a joint effort reading from Beata Duncan’s posthumous collection Berlin Blues. Steve’s brief explanation of Beata’s fascinating family history just hinted at the interest to be found in his contextual essay at the front of the book. The poems are charming and very accessible. Altogether a very successful evening and thanks go to Ana Biosca for skillfully selling books and wrangling the float. The new downstairs space at the Poetry Cafe really is a nicer venue than before – do check it out.