'I Am Travelling 9,000 Miles to Read for Two Minutes. It's a Bit Reckless' Poet on a Hectic Trek from the States for Poetry Book Launch

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Byline: Tony Henderson

WRITER Julie Kane is jetting over 9,000 miles - just to read a 16-line poem on Tyneside. One of Julie's poems is featured in a new book of humorous verse by Tyneside-based IRON Press, which will be launched at Newcastle's Hyena Comedy Cafe tonight.

Julie, who lives in Natchitoches in Louisiana in the United States, will be one of 30 poets who tonight will be reading their works which appear in the book.

She arrived in Newcastle at midday on Saturday and will leave at 7am tomorrow. Julie's journey began with an hour's drive from her home to Alexandria airport in Louisiana for an hour-long flight to Houston in Texas, followed by a nine-hour trip to London's Heathrow and then a flight to Newcastle.

Julie, who teaches English and creative writing at Louisiana's Northwestern State University, said: "I am travelling 9,000 miles to read for two minutes. It's a bit reckless."

Julie heard about the IRON Press book on the internet and decided to submit some of her work.

She has had six books published, including three volumes of poetry, but she said: "I am thrilled to have a poem in the IRON Press book.

"The launch sounded like a lot of fun and a great opportunity to hear other poets."

Tonight will be the third time that Julie has travelled to the UK for a book launch.

In 1991 she flew to London for the launch of a collection of her poetry and two years ago she was back for the publication of another poetry book which contained her work.

But the deciding factor for her latest trip was a free flight courtesy of a friend who gave her frequent flying air miles which were about to expire.

Julie is staying with Cullercoats poet Pauline Plummer, who teaches at Northumbria University and also has a poem in the IRON Press book.

On Saturday Julie took in Cullercoats Bay and sampled some of the local cuisine and last night she enjoyed a poetry reading at Whitley Bay. …