Conference veteran Steve Wade offers his thoughts...
I’m sure you women writers have often stopped to give a momentary thought to the bloke in the corner as you sip your wine and talk editors, chapters, deadlines and focus groups. Well, although I’m a writer, I’m also quite often the bloke in the corner, merely observing, and trying to understand why women never run out of words while men grope for the right words, give in and use the nearest one, and then feel sorry for months because they used one that got them into trouble. That happens a lot at a conference, but it also has a wonderful romantic element too, and I think a poem is the best way to explain this delicious, unsteady and tentative little journey into love – the central theme of all the writers at the forthcoming conference. Because the journey into the experience of the conference is a little like that other journey, the one we long for, pain and joy on the road like pebbles and sunrise – but boy we need that trip into something unknown and maybe revolutionary. Or just as strange as a hot curry in a desert.
Welcome to a country called Love.
You need a visa. Nobody knows you.
You need a road map.
No road-signs to affection here.
You need a phrase book:
She’ll speak woman-talk.
You need an emotion licence
Or you’ll crash into a barrier of grief .
But once inside her borders,
All this wonderful journey-
You never want it to end