A soirée that puts poets on the spot


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The Independent Culture

The young American writers Jarred McGinnis and Sam Tarradash dismiss old-style literary evenings as “passionless affairs”.

After attending several such soirées, they felt the need for something other: something light-hearted but which didn't cheapen the experience of good writing; something which did not needlessly adhere to a single artistic form; something that could compete against a comedy night, a film or a play.

The Special Relationship is a self-styled smorgasbord of fiction, poetry, films and poetry, hosted by the award-winning comic Tom Basden (Peep Show, Party). The next show will feature poet Guy Ware reading alongside illustrator Mr Bingo.

From a small first outing in the Scottish Poetry Library, the event has grown in both stature and size, with a packed tent at this year's Latitude Festival. The evenings are useful, too. McGinnis was signed by a literary agent who had heard him reading at an event last year.

The next Special Relationship evening is at the Book Club, London, EC2 tomorrow. (www.thespecialrelationship.net)