Sunday 12 May 2024

What about this as a novel way of launching a book?

Peter Street launched his book of poems in a fish and chip shop!   

All members of society have visited a chip shop. Maybe for a sit-down meal, followed by a cup of tea. Wagon drivers, have visited, while on the go. Even the police in their police cars have relieved stress with a bag of chips (with or without fish). It’s the place where a gentle reading of a newly published book would be appreciated.

Ernest Beck of the ‘Wall Street Journal’ summed me up, in a few sentences.

'A new generation of poets like Mr Street – who hail from working class

backgrounds – are bringing verse back home. For many British Poets like Mr Street pushing poetry is now a mission.  Like a wondering medieval minstrel, he’s bringing his art to the people.'

   The story about my chip shop project had appeared in the Sunday Times. It was also on BBC North West Radio and TV.  This had never been done before. I read my work while standing next to the warm display cabinet of the chippy. I also read at the end of the queue, where those waiting, could relax. 

Some customers asked where they could buy my books. Some even talked about their favorite writers: both of poetry and prose. While I was outside on the pavement, children began chalking their own poems or a few lines of a made up story - there and then. It was a community project at its very best. Made so, because everyone knows their chippy and what’s happening there.

Fish and chips have been with the UK since Dickensian times. No-one really knows who the bright spark was, who first added fish to their chips. It has been thought to be a Jewish thing, but no-one is that certain.  Fish and chips are devoured by most religious cultures.  It is who we are. Fish and Chips are known the world over. The BBC World Service made connections with fish and chip lovers in Saudia Arabia, during the Kaleidoscope program: I was presenting at the time.

No comments: