A note on: reading boxing poems at Cambridge University


A resonant experience on multiple levels, I had the chance to read at Cambridge Uni thanks to Oliver Goldstein and his Sweet Science event in the Faculty of English. It was another entry in my experience of a small, welcoming community of writers and poets who care passionately about the sport and aim to reflect it in works as complex as the culture itself. Oliver is one of the world's leading boxing journalists and really fine poet, and as well he and I, there were multiple excellent readers and a really healthy and interested audience. Discerning you'd expect, but friendly with it too. I read some poems from an upcoming book, a sequel to my 2011 Fights, entitled Rematches, due out with Kingston University Press this year. I also got the chance to pop a balloon with a left hook. 

Perhaps the most unexpected highlight was meeting a cambridge english undergrad who told me they were doing their dissertation on my work. A first, as far as I know, and actually really warming and encouraging, it actually really touched me. It's very easy to feel one is wasting time, serving my own interests and no one gives a shit (which is true) but then a small thing like that happens, and you feel less in a bubble.