Last night Dad and I went to, wait for it… The Society Club in Soho which bears the subtitle: The Best of All Possible Things and last night it was. Set in a quiet back lane in a busy corner of London’s fast-paced Soho, it describes itself as a literature society where the arts have always been integral to its bohemian history — it’s a private club. They specialise in twentieth century literature, counterculture, art and visual culture from modernism to the contemporary. Sounds very arty doesn’t it. And it is. It’s small and it’s got some real collector’s books on its shelves, a cocktail bar one side of the room and down a pokey flight of stairs to the loos where the wallpaper was: interesting. Reminded me of the design on the plates in BirdCage with Robin Williams if anyone’s seen it. And am I really talking about the toilet wallpaper? So a kind of exclusive bookshop by day and a cocktail bar by night. Quirky.
We arrived about 7 and met with the lovely Robin Jones from Unthank Books and his counterpart Jane Ormerod from Great Weather for Media based in New York. What I hadn’t quite realised until I got there was it was a read-off between three Unthank writers: myself, the lovely Gary Budden and Roelof Bakker and for Great Weather for Media we had Jane Ormerod and Martin Ouvry; sadly Victoria Hattersley was poorly but someone else did offer a reading who attends the club, apologies to him that I don’t have his name.
Complete with high tech ‘clapp’ app: a seen better days sliding cardboard scale (hmm) clapometer at its best, we read our hearts out and I opted to go first. Had a lovely reaction reading from my story Open Windows. We then alternated in our readings with Robin’s somewhat dubious clapometer sliding! All well read and all getting great reactions. LOVE Gary’s and Roelof’s stories in particular of course, but can’t take away from the other team. Some great pieces. Announcing at the end the other side won which was well and truly a fix of course! The Unthank Team did good, baby. (Did I really use that phrase?!!)
I am not sure we sold many books on either side but it gave me a chance to meet writers again and having previously met with Gary and Roelof to catch up with new friends 🙂 Always nice to see Robin; our paths meet again and I am always grateful for them publishing my work.
So a red wine or two supped, plenty of laughing, the best of literary indulgence (in the short story form and a piece of performance poetry) and a dubious defeat Round 2 of Project U meeting of twinned publishers came to an end.
Was it the best of all possible things?
Of course it was. (But we should’ve won.)
Have a great weekend all.
Didn’t take photos but sure there will be some somewhere to share.
Did I say we should’ve won?
Buy the book. Got it.
We should’ve won.