After quite a bit of searching through 25 odd years of bookselling flotsam I finally found what I was looking for: A tape recording of Richard Ford, Raymond Carver and Jonathan Raban reading at an event that I organised in London in June 1987.
Richard Ford reads from the beginning and then the end of The Sportswriter.
Raymond Carver reads five poems from In a Marine Light – In a Marine Light, Meadow, Venice, The Fishing Pole of the Drowned Man and Cadillacs and Poetry. He also reads two heartbreaking poems from Fires, Luck and Alcohol.
Finally Jonathan Raban recounts a very entertaining, but sadly truncated, (on the tape) encounter with Philip Larkin, from his book Coasting.
At first, without consulting my copy of the book, I had trouble putting a date to the event and so I emailed a long lost friend thinking that just possibly he may have kept a diary.
He wrote back,
It would be between May and November 87 as you know. Carver's handwriting is difficult to read, but in my copy of Marine Light it looks like he's written 'June '87.' That's as close as I can get it - if I could find my way home in those days it was counted as a miracle.
An honest assessment perhaps, but a not uncommon problem for us all at the time as I recall, yet listening to these three voices, each in their different ways illuminating the room in front of the fifty or sixty or so people who were present at the time, it seems like only yesterday.