Sunday, 25 September 2011
Posted by Kirsten Irving
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?