It was the London Book Fair earlier in the month; an event I have been attending since a young bookseller and it has changed a great deal over the last 40 years. It used to be a place to meet with the publishers and explore the books coming out over the next year. It was a place to network, not that we used that word back then, it was where you could meet with authors and their publicists and arrange events and signings. It was always hot and busy and I loved it. I do not love it quite so much now as it is difficult to network unless you are an overseas publisher who wishes to buy the rights to new titles or you are a big player in the bookselling world who will be ordering several thousand copies.I am a very small fish as really I am looking to spot tomorrows collectables and to try and persuade publishers to send me review copies of their books so I can do a review on the website. I am indebted to my wholesaler Gardners who make it possible for me to order new books for my customers at a reasonable discount because as a predominantly second-hand and rare book shop I do not order enough to have accounts with individual publishers. My account manager Michael, is always very courteous and gives me time to catch up and exchange ideas of how to increase my sales. So I was wandering slightly despondently around a very hot and busy exhibition hall when I came across an oasis. There was a poetry corner and it was a joint project of various poetry organisations and publishers including the Poetry Book Society. The Book Fair is run over three days and this project was presenting various poetry talks and events. The one I attended was called The Women Whose Names Were Erased. There were two poets Avianti Armand, an Indonesian poet and Maarja Kangro, from Estonia and the event was chaired by Peggy Hughes Chair of the Literature Alliance Scotland. Both of the poets have other strings to their bow Avianti is an architect, curator and also a writer, Maarja is also a short story writer and a librettist both have won awards. Both poets have incredibly different styles. Avianti read from her poem which is about 5 women from the old testament she said she chose to explore these women’s stories because she felt they were the most rebellious in the bible they include Eve, Lilith and Jezebel. Maarja’s poem is in commemoration of the Independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It is a very different poem with an exceedingly firm message whereas the other poem had a more lyrical flow to it. Peggy Hughes, asked the poets about the culture of their homelands in respect of women particularly as one of Avianti’s poems is called the Women Whose Names Were Erased. In Indonesia it is taking time for women to be considered seriously in this field; she said that it was considered that women should be long haired and to spend time staring at the moon. Maarja said it was difficult for Estonian women to get access to the culture of university and that 60/70 % of poetry books in her country were written by men and that most of the literary prizes go to men. Peggy’s next question seemed quite a straight forward one, she asked if it was exciting for them to have their work translated into other languages and I was just expecting the answer to be a resounding yes so I was surprised when Maarja said yes but qualified her answer by saying that it is also nerve wracking because unless you speak the language too you are dependent on the translator conveying your words correctly. I know this will be the same for all authors but with poetry the words are chosen with such care that the wrong translation could change the meaning completely.