The Maintenant Balkans event was held at the Poetry Parnassus on friday night. It was great to be around real friends at the reading but it wasn't the highlight for me. Like everything you can have too much of a good thing and by friday I was on a downer about poetry and posturing and this kind of thing. The nature of Balkan poetry is that it holds itself up, perhaps it has to, and that wasn't hitting my mood at the right point. Anyway, the evening had some lovely moments. Jana Stefanovska with her father, the near legendary playwright Goran http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goran_Stefanovski, was given some reading time with her fellow Macedonian Nikola Madzirov, which was nice and well deserved after all her immense work at the festival. Doina Ioanid is a really fine poet, and it was nice to have her perform with Clare Pollard, who couldn't have been nicer. And, as ever, Damir Sodan was incredible. In fact this is best reading I have ever seen him give, the pace, the wit, the energy - the man is a solar system unto himself, it's hard not to love him.