Saturday, 4 April 2009

rooms people feelings places


Kate Pullinger

I'm writing this live from the audience at The Readers Voice, a conference for book groups in Oxford where I've just been speaking about the e-future. Last night's panel with Kate Pullinger and Brian Appleyard felt fulsome and stretching, though slightly intimidating to have Philip Pullman in the audience - I wonder what he made of it. According to Toni he kept shaking his head.

...

Back home now.

Talking about digital issues in relation to bookgroups highlights how they've transformed reading into a time-specific, transliterate, shared experience for many people. Our plans to produce a different kind of reading experience should work well in that setting, though there will be resistence I'm sure to digital literature.

Attending an inspirational poetry workshop with Casi Dylan of the Reader Organisation which runs reading out loud sessions with all kinds of groups, I was struck by how liberating it is to be gathered together with others for unusual reasons.

Our if so flo seminar for on May 1st is now fully booked but we're planning more if:book salons soon, including a day long event 'round our house' and featuring Cindy Oswin's amazing Salon with Getrude Stein. Watch this space for details.

Finally, I must mention an amazing, moving and unconnected coincidence: sitting down for breakfast at Jesus College where the event was held, I started talking to a man beside me who looked vaguely familiar. When he mentioned having been a GP in Sheffield I recognised him: "You're the man who saved my son's life twenty four years ago." It was Doctor Greaves who rushed Joe to hospital with us when we found our six month old baby collapsed in his cot one morning. It was a pleasure to be able to thank him again after all this time.

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