Seven Ways of Reading Gillian Allnutt

I just happened to come across this post again. Thank you Anthony for thinking this through, and blogging about it. I think Gillian Allnutt should be a superstar too. Her work is full of spaces, I read her again and again, always finding more in the ‘what’s not said’.

Anthony Wilson

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Seven Ways of Reading Gillian Allnutt:

How The Bicycle Shone: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe; 216pp; £12)

 

1

It’s the Saturday Evening of the August Bank Holiday Weekend. We’re at the Greenbelt Arts Festival, on Cheltenham Racecourse. We’re indoors, in a long, low-ceilinged room. It is extremely hot. People wander in, shuffle nervously to a safe distance from the microphone, then slide quietly to the floor with their belongings. There are three very small windows, no chairs. This being Cheltenham, the room is called The Foxhunter Suite. And this being a poetry reading, we ‘give it five more minutes’ in case there’s any stragglers. It turns out there are. It’s a good sized audience. People lie down to listen. They hold hands, sip from water bottles, settle in. In the same room earlier that day there has been a film about the genocide in Rwanda  Gillian Allnutt begins reading, and…

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