Sunday, 25 September 2011

Free Verse Poetry Book Fair Report

Yesterday Charles Boyle of CB Editions, along with Chrissy Williams and Anna-Mae Selby, hosted a remarkable event, which we were lucky to be part of.

The Free Verse Poetry Book Fair, which was held in the beautiful Exmouth Market area of London, was a fantastic opportunity to see exactly how active the independent poetry publishing scene is. Over 20 presses took their places at tables around a buzzing hall, while, upstairs, readings took place throughout the day. Helena Nelson, head honcho of Happenstance, very kindly invited us to share a table and show our literary ankles with Sidekick Books publications. This is me meddling with the books:

Jon and me, while officially there wearing our Sidekick Books hats, read for Happenstance, who published Jon's debut pamphlet Scarecrows in April 2010 and mine, What To Do, in July 2011. Other readings came from Penned In The Margins (see Tom Chivers' write-up of the event here) and Nine Arches, among others, and Michael Horovitz opened proceedings with poetry, kazoo, a spot of Johnny Tillotson and a call-to-arms in support of fostering independent approaches to poetry.

Also great to have Andy Ching, boss of Donut, as a neighbour, though I could feel the special edition of Tim Turnbull's Caligula On Ice tugging at my wallet the entire day - probably the best looking stall in the joint, which is no mean feat.

As an added bonus, Jon got to have a Roger Moore-style eyebrow-raising contest with Donut poet Wayne Holloway-Smith's baby daughter Margot. Either both won or both lost, but either way it was a tenaciously-fought duel.

Oh yes, and check out Jon's spoils (including the copy of the gorgeous Salt Book of Younger Poets, which I snaffled on Friday at the Best British Poetry 2011 launch):

Here's to the next one, eh?

Friday, 23 September 2011

Poetry Book Fair!

Sidekick Books will have a stall at this amazing mammoth event tomorrow, which sees many of the poetry world's small presses joining together to promote their wonderful wares:

Free Verse Poetry Bookfair
Saturday 24th September
free entry
Exmouth Market Centre
24 Exmouth Market
London EC1R 4QE
Opened at 11am by Michael Horovitz

 Anvil / Arc / Carcanet / CB Editions / Donut / Egg Box / Enitharmon / flipped eye / HappenStance / if p then q / Nine Arches / Penned in the Margins / Poetry Book Society / Rack Press / Reality Street / Salt / Shearsman / Shoestring / Sidekick / Ward Wood / Waterloo / Waywiser / zimZalla

Readings throughout the day:
10.30-11   Ward WoodSue Guiney and Peter Phillips    
11-11.45   Michael Horovitz
12-12.30   HappenStance Press 
Jon Stone, Kirsten Irving, Lorna Dowell, Peter Daniels, Clare Best and D A Prince
12.30-1  Nine Arches Press
Ruth Larbey and Matt Merritt
1-1.30   Reality Street
Jim Goar and James Davies
1.30-2   Rack Press
Roisin Tierney, Nicholas Murray and Katy Evans-Bush
2-2.30   CB Editions
Christopher Reid and Nancy Gafford  
2.30-3   Carcanet
Will Eaves and Ian Pindar
3-3.30   ifpthenq
Lucy Harvest Clarke and Tom Jenks
3.30-4   Flipped Eye
Max Wallis and Kate McLoughlin
4-4.30   Penned in the Margins
Gemma Seltzer and Siddhartha Bose
4.30-5   Waterloo Press
Jeremy Reed, Niall McDevitt and Philip Ruthen

Contact for more information.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

I should have mentioned!

The Lifelines LinkEthiopia event went rather well. We raised over £200 for a worthwhile and genuinely hard-working charity. Headliner Lemn Sissay went down a storm and sold a whole stack of books to a smitten audience. I made substitue tej and ful, and we brought some extra bits and pieces from Addis near King's Cross. All eaten up.

But how is it I always end up with a stack of flyers left after these events?

September Update

About four or five posts ago I made some kind of promise (to an unspecified person - possible myself) that Contraption would be out in August. Well, about a billion things got in the way. I hate promising myself things. Two days ago, Kirsty did a simultaneous edit of all three versions (web, e-book, hard copy) and made numerous necessary edits. We did finally get hold of a printer that (thus far) works, but I have already put plan B into action, which means we're going to send off a pdf and get the pages printed and cut by a third party. We'll then do the binding and covers ourselves, as usual.

There are at least two more very exciting things to come from Fuselit/Sidekick Books in September - in fact, they're somehow more finished than Contraption, but I'll hold off on the details until we've got everything ready. Hopefully not too long!

In the mean time, this is the Best British Poetry 2011, just published by Salt:

It has a poem by me in it, but more importantly it has a poem from Fuselit in it! Richard Osmond's 'Logo' was from our last issue, Jack, and is a really brilliant little piece. At a tenner full price, and featuring a really varied array of poets from a slew of British journals, the whole book is a bit of a steal. Take that recommendation with however much salt you like, but know that I genuinely have difficulty enthusing about anything I'm associated with that I can pick holes in ...