Loose Muse Basingstoke
On Saturday 25th June 2016, Sue Wrinch took her regular Winchester Loose Muse event to Basingstoke to be part of the Basingstoke Literary Festival.
The main guest speakers were poet Agnes Meadows (who set up the original London Loose Muse over a decade ago and still runs it regularly) and novelist Sarah Mussi. I was invited to read a few poems in the first half, and Sue Wrinch herself read a short set in the second half. There was also the usual open mic, which makes up the unique and supportive atmosphere of a Loose Muse evening.
Agnes had us by turns laughing, gasping and almost crying as she read diverse poems ranging from being a proud and non-apologetic woman to devastating scenes she witnessed in the Middle East.
I read a few of my poems just before the break and offered to concede to heckles if people wanted their drinks before I’d got through the three poems I’d planned. In the event, we made it through all three unscathed before the rush to the bar.
Sarah took on the challenge of reading at a mainly poetry event in a uniquely brilliant way: she read to us the prologues of her four novels. As she pointed out, these were self-contained pieces of prose, which were designed to pack more weight than the main body of the novel, and thus had something of a poem’s punch. She was absolutely right, and had us on the edges of our seats and itching to read the rest of her books.
It was a relaxed and friendly evening like the Loose Muse we have come to know and love in Winchester. They are a great way to hear both new local writing voices and appreciate professionals.
Isabel Rogers, 25th June 2016