Poetry reading from How To Be Old—are these poems all about you?

Here’s a little poetry reading, just three poems from my new book, How To Be Old. It’ll be published in June by the Cuba Press, and all the readings we had planned have been cancelled, and it’s just dawning on me that people won’t be keen to set up new ones. FOGO, I’ve got it, maybe you’ve got it: fear of going out.

Waa waa waa! I want to do a poetry reading! So I’m going to do a bunch of tiny little readings, let’s say three poems at a time, short and sweet. Look, I’m just at home in my study but I’ve put on my posh dress just for you, so please sit back and be my guest.

It’s nice to be read to, don’t you think?

PS My new recording booth is brilliant! Tucks away neatly into one box on my stand-up desk. But the light is flickering on and off. There’s always another glitch and I am braced to improve that for future poetry readings.

photo of swiss challet on snowy mountain side

Switzerland features in the poem Getting Old Is Not Like Getting Pregnant. Photo: Olivier Bruchet CC BY-SA 2.0


11 thoughts on “Poetry reading from How To Be Old—are these poems all about you?

  1. Rachel ~ watched you read your three poems. Lovely. And comforting. The last line of your third gave me pause: “I am my Mother; I am my Father.” Oh boy — a hard one for me. The DNA is there, no matter how I deny it. Volatile Irish-Italian mix. The parental unit was an exotic cocktail — fiery and sweet. A gratitude list might be just the thing. It’s been roiling around to do one. Thank You!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I am thrilled to know into what forests of reflection my poems ushered you. Your own, of course. Thank you back, because reading in this form is a bit risky.

  2. Lovely, thank you Rachel. Can we have more of your chime music in between the poems please?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I need to ring it closer to the mic, don’t I?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just lovely, Rachel, especially Voices, thank you! Looking forward to more. X

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thank you so much 👍

  4. cedar51 says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Lovely Rachel. I stil have books of your early poems on, my shelves — and you were wise even then.🦉

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Oh wow, that is indeed a tribute. Now all I have to do is live up to it, hm….

  6. Got the time at last this morning to listen. How I smiled and chuckled and marvelled. What a joy it was to hear your lovely voice, see your lovely face and hear those lovely (and very wise, surprising and inspiring ) poems. Thank you Rachel. You are my favourite ‘advance spy’!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Kay, I’ll keep you posted, for sure. Your words are very generous.

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