Success Night at the Mercure

I’m not a regular member of the Ayr Writers’ Club. No matter how welcome I am made to feel, for me, deciding when it is appropriate to pick up a crisp from a communal bowl is an anxious issue. The impropriety of a misplaced crunch becomes a risk with serious implication.
This is especially the case when the dominant issue of the evening is emotive and serious. However, since the reason for the evening was in fact to showcase work of Ayr Writers’ Club members who had enjoyed good favour in Club competitions over the past year, my snack based anxiety rapidly faded under a body of work with a richness of focus, sensitivity, and accomplishment.
As an introduction, Nigel began the evening reading from a collection of poignant, intense poems by victims and families of the Hillsborough disaster. Then came James’ review savouring the recently deceased author Ian Banks’ poetry. Rhona read Alison’s poem capturing grief on losing a life partner; delicately balancing a symbolic drive to transcendence with a realist sensitivity. Greta followed with a nostalgic, turning to magical chapter of her young persons’ novel in progress. Iain then read his wry poetic work of flash fiction humbugging the holiday season, followed by Linda giving a wee bonus boot to the baubles. Nigel read his short story recounting a newly pregnant young woman’s visit to her grandmother’s house of fading memories. Catherine then read her obituary of alternative medicine advocate Jan DeVries, informed by a personal connection with the Troon practitioner.
After the break, Chloe with a few players recruited from the audience, read her winning visceral and unflinchingly descriptive script about experiences of homelessness and domestic violence. Jennifer followed this with chapters of a novel on revenge, following the rape, and eventual death in childbirth, of a young girl. Linda gave her warm and personally witnessed obituary of Glasgow’s Apollo Theatre, venue for near every accomplished popular musician of the twentieth century. Ending the evening was Suzy, reading her darkly satirical Scots language story of post-austerity urban cannibalism.
Sorry for going on about the crisps.
Michael Kelly

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