Right, so that’s the launch done at Five Leaves Books – we had a packed audience, and I was delighted to find out that the event was part of their Bread and Roses radical book series, including revolution, urban squatting and the popular Union leader Bob Crow! As usual I arrived miles too early for the event, and was caught out by punitive parking charges in the city centre – so instead of sitting nonchalantly in a trendy cafe with a paper and a latte like a denizen of the Left Bank, I was stamping around the precinct filled with rage because all my money was in the ticket machine and I couldn’t go and buy anything.
Next up is Lowdham Book Fest, which is always brilliant and I go there every year for the famous Final Saturday, where there’s free events and loads of bookstalls. This time though, I’m one of the people on the platform, again with a selection from the Artisan. I’m trying to get a colour co-ordinated outfit to go with the book; if I find one in time…. that’s what I’ll be wearing. Before Lowdham it’s the 2nd Kendal Poetry Festival, which has quickly joined my annual ‘must go’ list. I’m not one of their official readers but it’s possible to join the open events and pick up valuable experience.
Shoestring Press has my latest on its website now, but there’s been talk recently of reprinting an earlier short collection, Borderville, which sold out. I think this would be an excellent idea, but then I’m biased. I’ll put news on here if such a thing comes to pass. Otherwise it’s back to the drawing board as I start putting lines and ideas together for The Next Thing. Later this summer I’m taking part in an Arvon week, getting out of my comfort zone by writing performance-poetry songs. I wouldn’t want to inflict this on an audience, but I’m keen to explore new ways of working, and you never know where it might lead.