On 8th March 2016, it was International Women’s Day. I had been invited to ‘City Voices’ to perform my poetry with a short interview. 'City Voices' is a live literature event on the second Tuesday of the month (7.30-9pm) at the Lych Gate tavern, Queen Square, Wolverhampton, WV1 1TX.
Organised by Simon Fletcher, formerly the literature development worker for Wolverhampton libraries, it features local and regional writers sharing their work and includes poetry, stories and good humour. Plus the venue has good disabled access.
Simon had drawn up an event to celebrate International Women’s Day featuring poetry and stories from five different women from around the world- an Irish, a Canadian, an Indian, a Caribbean and an English each with a fifteen-minute slot. These women shared and performed their work.
I was third on the program. For me it was a very special event as it was one of my first live interviews in front of an audience. In previous events, my poetry and prose was simply read out by someone else. Although, I very occasionally read one short piece myself.
This time Simon was experimenting the possibility of an interview with me. He asked me some leading questions. Santosh Kumari, a friend of mine read a poem after each question was answered. I was a bit nervous. However, when I was invited up in front of the audience, I took a deep breath and simply pretended that there was no audience. I just sat and answered Simon’s questions comfortably and as clearly as I could.
At the end I could not believe it! Yes I did it! The audience was very supportive and sympathetic, for many of the people in the auidence, it was actually the first time they'd heard my voice!