Tuesday 19 November

Joanne Limburg and Caron Freeborn

The Blue Moon – 2 Norfolk Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LF
8 pm - Doors open 7.30 pm
sign up for open mic

Joanne Limburg

Joanne Limburg has published three collections with Bloodaxe, the most recent being The Autistic Alice. She won an Eric Gregory Award  in 1998, and her first book, Femenismo (Bloodaxe Books, 2000), was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Her second collection, Paraphernalia (Bloodaxe Books, 2007), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her other books include Bookside Down, a collection for children, the novel A Want of Kindness and two memoirs, The Woman Who Thought Too Much and Small Pieces: A Book of Lamentations. She lives in Cambridge.

I know of no other writer who has captured so precisely this dilemma between personal belief and tribal betrayal, with its elements of guilt, loss and stubborn rationality. - Terri Apter, TLS

Alice's Walk

If you could feel, as Alice does, how fast the earth is moving
if your bones shuddered at the grinding, forward thrust of it
if you sometimes had to run keep running just to stay in place
if you feared the ground might throw you like a horse its rider
if you knew a foot placed here or there meant life or death
then you wouldn't need to ask her why she walks that way.

Caron Freeborn

Caron Freeborn is autistic, perseverating on details others discard. A novelist until gradually she became a poet, her work has appeared in various magazines and journals and her first full poetry collection, Georges Perec is my hero, came out in 2015. She regularly does spoken word gigs and in 2017, was commissioned to produce an hour-long performance piece in response to Jane Boyer’s Phantom exhibition.  This has now been turned into a two-hander with neurodivergent poet Harry Dell. 

At Glasgow Airport

We shuffle queue oppressed until
I place socked feet on two yellow
approximations hot as panic
when that greyed woman who keeps
her smile deep in her pocket
or maybe the leg of her knickers
tells me I can change queues.
Number one’s free, she unsmiles.
But I can’t see number one
and I can’t understand where I’d splay my feet
and I can’t make myself move into that space
and I have to live here now.

All my life that rolled-tight gaze
above the missing smile.
I’m autistic, I say.
I’m autistic.
(published in Blue Nib, 2019)