I’ve lots of news for you as, once again, I’ve neglected my little blog for too long. So here’s the first in a series of (hopefully shorter than usual) posts:
I’ve recently returned to work after a smooth and uncomplicated recovery following my hip replacement in January. It’s such a joy to be more or less pain-free, able to walk briskly without limping after six years or so of declining mobility – and even enjoy a spot of gardening. I’ve begun to accept that, although my head is convinced it’s still a young ‘un, the rest of me isn’t! And from tomorrow, my 60% working week will comprise three full days, rather than spread across the week. I’m looking forward to fewer early morning alarms and reduced car mileage/petrol expenditure for starters.
States of Independence gets better each year. This independent small press publishing day brings together writers, readers, tutors, facilitators, students, publishers and more. I did an early stint on the Soundswrite Press stand, conveniently situated opposite the main entrance to DMU’s Clephan Building. Having snapped up an eagerly-awaited copy of Caroline Cook’s pamphlet, Primer, I spent the rest of the hour chatting to lots of people, some of whom I hadn’t seen for quite some time, and meeting new faces. I decided to allow myself plenty of time to explore the stands, browse the books and enjoy lunch and a coffee around the corner. These I fitted around the three readings/showcases I’d chosen to attend. The last of these was the Soundswrite Press showcase: readings by several poets who featured in the last anthology, followed by Caroline’s pamphlet launch. Lots of us had our primer-pink copies to hand during her reading. Of my purchases, this was my chosen bedtime reading that night – I found, once in, I couldn’t put it down. You can buy a copy here. In a bid to reduce my To Read pile, I had a mental shopping list this year. Here’s the booty:
Caroline’s launch also means that my forthcoming pamphlet publication date (TBA, but certainly this autumn) edges closer still. I’m relieved that, having finalised the poems and their order with my editor, the wonderful, ever-supportive (feet-firmly-on-the-ground) DA Prince (whose latest collection is forthcoming from HappenStance Press), the editing stage is now well underway. This stage in the process feels easier to live with as the end product seems more attainable, more real. The pamphlet has a kind of narrative thread, in two halves, with a dark centre comprising four poems which I have plans to develop into a larger body of work. It still has no title.