It's a busy old week at the Havant Literary Festival. On Thursday I went to the launch of For You and You, the collected poems of Harry Haines, at which Harry and his friends read and discussed the stories behind some of the poems. Last night was the WordSouth Open Mic, at which charliecochrane and I read amongst the poets. I'm not certain that my 'Paint' from Britich Flash was the best fit for that particular audience, but I appreciate the practice I'm getting at reading my work aloud. Some stunning poems too, especially by that evening's guest poet, Dave Swann, who read from his The Privilege of Rain, works from his time as a writer in residence at HMP Nottingham.
Then today I was at Havant Library for readings and discussions by Stella Duffy, who gave us a broad sample of her work and talked about the difficulties of writing in multiple genres. She also signed two books for me, and encouraged me to mention my Tiptree Award longlisting without being embarrassed.
Over to you. What makes for a good author reading session, either from the point of view of the audience or from the reader's experience?