I spent a formative year or so in Nottingham long ago. It was there that I once wondered whether I might become a part-time writer. I was on the tipping point, nearly on the slide. Instead I went off and did an M.Sc in something else. Nottingham seems to have a thriving arts scene, helped no doubt by the c.30k students in the city.
On 7th December I went to a Nine Arches Press Poetry reading at the impressive Five Leaves Bookshop. It's down an alley in the heart of town and has shelves of poetry books that are rarely seen in bookshops. It has some poetry magazines too, as well as the usual range of books that one might hope for in an "alternative" bookshop. If you're in Nottingham, go and buy something there. I bought myself some early Xmas presents. I've talked to Matt Merritt before; we often attend the same Midlands or London bookfairs and have 2 publishers in common. I've read his books and those of Tony Williams, who I met for the first time on the night. Those 2 readers were joined by Bobby Parker and Dorothy Lehane, who were new to me. I need to see Dorothy Lehane's work on the page. With Bobby Parker it was the other way round - until I heard Heroin Lullaby spoken I didn't realise how much I liked it.
I met Maria Taylor too (we read each other's blogs), and I think I recognised Andrew Duncan in the audience.