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New Jewish Book Week at Hackney Library

Meanwhile, I can report that I had a great time at Hackney Central Library doing a reading for Jewish Book Week. What an interesting mix of people. I wondered if it be one of those occasions that people would feel that they could only go if they were Jewish. But no, there were plenty of people there who were most definitely not Jewish so it was a very open, free atmosphere. It was also all-ages. A woman on the front row who had been to hear a reading given by my father in the Voice Box at London's South Bank told me that she was two years older than him - so that made her 88 or 89. And there were children there down to as young as seven year olds.

One of the poems I read comes from one of my prose poem books for Penguin and it's about how Eddie used to tell a joke about a man with an orange for a head. His head was an orange. But I couldn't remember the joke. The joke's gone.

Anyway, I read the poem and read some more and talked some more and it got to question time. A boy who I guess was about nine or ten, was sitting right in the middle of the audience and he put his hand up and I said, yes? And he said, 'Did you ever find the joke?'

It was one of those questions that no adult would ask, but went right to the heart of the poem, the emotion and meaning behind the poem. Brilliant. Brilliant.

Jewish Book Week

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