Tag Archives: Barry Andrews

Creativity in and out of the 70’s at Hilda’s Lounge

18 May

Hilda’s Lounge took place at the Richard Jefferies Museum as part of Swindon Festival of Literature, 13 May 2016. Guests Robert Vas Dias, Sophie Duffy, Caroline Day and Barry Andrews were each in conversation for an hour.

First, confession: I was not around for the ’70s (or, for that matter, a large amount of the ’80s). I am therefore reliant on Hilda Sheehan’s ’70s lounge (located deep in the Richard Jefferies Museum) conforming to stereotypes found in BBC ’70s shows and themed nightclubs.

The result is one that I can believe: the wallpaper seems to be have been lifted straight from Abigail’s Party; a grand-looking record player, lava lamp and copious amounts of Babycham contributing to an atmosphere one can one only describe as ‘locked in time’. I’m told that Babycham is a typical part of this environment: after watching a few people enjoying it a little too much, I can see arguments for and against it.

Having been allowed time to take in this fragment of the past, we are thrown into our first guest talent. One might assume that Hilda’s guests would be there to similarly impart memories of the ’70s. This would not necessarily be the case. Continue reading

Squandermania with Don Share and Barry Andrews at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

4 Oct

I guess the obvious question is: did I manically squander my evening last night? So I won’t ask that.

The music was very Cinematic Orchestra / The Free Association (David Holmes) – sinister moody-style jazz travelling from 1970s Shaft to Lemon Jelly.
And Don Share, editor of Chicago-based Poetry magazine, recited to the music.

Continue reading

Don Share bonds with Dog at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

2 Oct
Don Share

Don Share

After a welcome tea, hearty Lower Shaw Farm style, festival organiser Hilda Sheehan introduced her poetry hero, clutching a bag.

The contents included a mug (for copious tea) and soap. The latter wasn’t a comment on Hilda’s personal hygiene; Don Share – the bearer of the gifts – was mindful that Hilda is a long time avid listener of his podcasts, in the bath.

It was an internet romance that brought Don, editor of Poetry magazine, from Chicago to Swindon. Don, Hilda and Michael Scott bonded on Facebook over a love of band XTC in the seductive form of Swindon resident, Barry Andrews and, Don said, ‘the magic of Hilda and Michael’s generous personalities.’

“British poetry is so exciting to me,” he enthused, but it’s hard to come by the work in the States. “I want to take British work back with me and bring them to the attention of the American public.”

His first poem, Being Philosophical, was dedicated to the festival mascot, Dog.

Don is at the festival for the duration. See Squandermania, the wonderful baby born from a collaboration between Don and Barry today, 8pm at Swindon New College.

Written by Louisa Davison