With the closure of Liquid Poets I decided to go to the Coventry poetry group, which meets in the town hall once a month. Liquid Poets was quite celebratory, with a lively atmosphere and no tougher feedback than applause. This group is much more demanding - a workshop of seven fairly serious writers (plus me). I read them a couple of my pieces and I got a detailed no-holds barred critique in each cases - questioning the choice of individual words, suggesting cuts and so on. It was very bracing, and welcome, and I will definitely go again. Tough though.
I was given an invitation to an exhibition of 'found art' by one of the poets, who also produces artwork based on photos that have been left in the slots of photo booths. Also I heard about another open mike poetry event, at The Fox in Leamington Spa, so I'll start going to that.
One of the poets is from Wisconsin. He read a poem about a gold watch his great-grandfather brought to America from Coventry in the 19th century. The man sitting next to me - Jack, aged 75 - worked as a young man in the factory that made the watch. Nice coincidence.