Ian McMillan’s ‘the Verb’ on BBC Radio 3 has accompanied my news blackout of the last few months. I quit listening to or reading about current affairs after I realised it was mostly bad news, not ‘bad’ in the gloomy sense but rather the ‘inaccurate’. So it was fun to realise while listening to the show that he was the man we would be workin with on the London Word Festival official poster for 2010. We’re very pleased with the result.
We all shuffle up and take a pew as the proceedings begin. First up, specially commissioned poet Ian McMillan takes to the stage to perform the festival’s official Chip Shop Poem. McMillan gets things off to a flying start as his thickly laden Yorkshire glottal stops spurt out from his mouth at break neck speed. By the time we actually get to the Chip Shop poem, The Epic Friday Night Travels of Norman McNorman I am in a mild state of hysterics and so unfortunately can’t recall the finer details, but it’s very funny, ingenious and has something to do with a man called Norman and a late night trip to the Chip Shop. Hats off to Ian who manages to get the words ‘pigeon’, ‘fusspot’, ‘crepuscular’, ‘incandescent’, ‘hopscotch’, and ‘jump’ along with other maverick mots into a well-rhymed jumble with a particularly good last line involving the word ‘spatula’.
Copies are on sale from the London Word Festival.