Sep 7th, 2015

It’s not every day I get asked to recite a poem – and get filmed doing it. So when an email appeared in my inbox from the amazing poet Liz Brownlee, asking me to read a poem for National Poetry Day, I didn’t exactly hesitate. Liz is a National Poetry Day Ambassador for the Forward Arts Foundation.

She was looking for people, whose life or work was connected with light, to read out a poem about, yes you’ve guessed it, light – the theme for this year’s National Poetry Day.

Luckily I didn’t have to write the poem myself (I know my limitations) as Liz had one lined up for me, ‘Light and Moths’ by Angela Topping. Liz’s BBC film editor husband, Peter, then filmed me reading the poem in my work surroundings. The film starts with me peering straight at camera through my retinoscope (that bright torch-like-instrument I shine into your eyes during a sight test). I’d like to say I pulled off the poetry reading in one take, but that wouldn’t be strictly true. Hopefully I didn’t test Liz and Peter’s patience too much though and the results are available to view on YouTube.
All the films will be screened on the Big Screen in Bristol’s Millennium Square on October 8th and on the BBC to promote National Poetry Day. They’re also available to view on the BBC creativity and Forward Arts websites.