Bookstore Day @ Bear Bookshop Bearwood
There's no doubt that arranging talent for a Bookstore Day event is a challenge. Almost everyone who can spell has an arrangement to be somewhere or other. Money changes hands, yes, even for poets. I have to commend Jenny McCann and Outsideleft for securing what I am told were their first choices for their Bookstore Day event. I think you'd agree this underlines the value and esteem Jenny McCann and her independent bookshop is held in in the Bearwood community. To paraphrase one of the Bear Bookshop performers, "When she reaches out her hand, you'll have to go!"
The evening was ably helmed by poet and MC for the event, Jay Lewis. Outsideleft arts editor, the artist Chantal Pitts, from the Birmingham based Amass arts group was on hand to produce identikit quality sketches, capturing the guilty! I kid. The evening saw the most fantastic array of talent. Chantal has shared her sketches with me and here they are, I think, in their ephemerality, perfect capturing the essence of the artists as they performed. Chantal said, "I wasn't aiming for exact likenesses. There was too much movement. I just tried to quickly capture their characters as they were reading/performing. They were just 10 minute sketches." About Soho, Chantal said, "The tiny guitarist with Soho is the inadvertently funniest I think. I was drawing the shop when Soho began, then decided to add them after. They were so brilliant, though the Jacqui and Pauline were bigger characters I think."