The turnout was great, with the best part of a hundred people pitching up, much more than the average book launch around here. The event itself was great, with Claire doing several readings, but also including film poems and live Spanish guitar to mix things up a bit.
Claire's poetry is superb. She can do light and fluffy stuff, but also really gets to you with the rawer, more personal poems. Her upbringing wasn't exactly conventional, and her brother committed suicide, and Ride On is very much an autobiographical account in poetry of key events in her life. Real heart-wrenching stuff.
The only shame was that the event was dogged by technical problems -- amplifiers which sounded like someone was making popcorn in the background, film cueing problems, and an intermittent microphone. Which was a great shame, because the atmosphere at these things is always kind of fragile, and it doesn't take a lot to break it.
Still, she carried on with dignity, and blew people away, basically. They must have been pretty impressed, because she sold 80 books after the show. She was signing for ages!
Anyway. Saw lots of people I knew at least peripherally from other events, plus Nicola from the Word Boat events and Nicki, one of the poets at the last Word Boat1. Nicki's invited me over to her place at the weekend for some food; I've said we should take in the RWA Autumn Exhibition launch, too.
Summary: Pretty cool evening.
1A review by Yours Truly!