Hot Off the Presses!

Just a quick post to let everyone know that Kind of a Hurricane Press‘s new fairy tale themed poetry anthology, Twice Upon a Time, is now available for just $8. You can order it online and check out my poem, Giantess – a reworking of Jack and the Beanstalk.

In other news, I had a great time at Kingston Writing School‘s open mic last Wednesday. The evening’s topics included everything from nightmarish blind dates to peculiar twins to the debaucherous lives of stewardesses in the 80’s (and that one was a memoir excerpt)! I read pieces about the Secret War, a hawk eviscerating a squirrel, and a (real) woman who eats the Bible, FYI.

Twice Upon a Time Cover

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Two Announcements!

As this post’s heading implies, I have two announcements. First: Kingston Writing School is hosting an open mic night  this Wednesday (May 27th) at Kingston University, and I’ll be reading (possibly debuting a new poem). See the attached flyer for details.

Second: on Saturday, June 20th, I’ll be reading with four other stellar poets as part of the Carshalton Festival. Myself, Lucy Furlong, Nik Way, Neil Horabin, and Sarah Dawson (collectively known as The Water Poets) will be commandeering the stage at the Cryer Theatre from 12 to 1pm. The festival’s theme is “Carshalton-On-Sea”, so we’ll each be reading a selection of our finest water-related poetry, including pieces inspired by Carshalton, which we’ve specially prepared for the occasion. Again, see the attached flyer for details.

Here’s a link to the facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/425836990927784/

And here are our author bios:

Lucy Furlong’s writing has been widely published, and last year one of her poems was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Forward Prize. Her poetry map, Amniotic City was reviewed in The Guardian newspaper.  Her first collection, clew, was recently published by Hesterglock Press, and is available from www.lucyfurlong.com

David Russomano’s poetry has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and Sundress Publications’ 2012 Best of the Net Anthology. In 2014, Kingston University awarded him the Faber and Faber Creative Writing MA Prize. His work is due to appear in upcoming issues of Elbow Room, Structo, and The London Miscellany.

Sarah Dawson is a mostly visual poet, specializing in asemic works inspired by sheet music or architectural drawings. You can view more of her work here: http://reversesnowball.tumblr.com/tagged/my-poetry

Nik Way writes, acts and directs. He has been known to shave his head for a part and undress during poetry readings. In 2013 he was shortlisted to be the Young Poet Laureate of London. Broadway Baby described his play Last Supper as “thought-provoking and poignant”. He tweets from @NikWay

Neil Horabin earned his MFA in Creative Writing from Kingston in 2014. During that time he had poems published in Ripple, Gone Fishing and Words, Pauses, Noises where a short story also appeared. Saying all that, Neil considers himself to be a novelist, he is currently editing his second novel. He teaches creative writing for Surrey County Council as an Adult Learning Tutor.

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Tools of the Trade

I’m happy to announce that my poem, In the Theatre of Epidaurus, can be found in Issue 6 of Tellus Magazine. Subscribe to Tellus, or order individual issues, at their website. In other news, I recently bought a vintage type writer. There’s no obvious connection between them, but these two occasions have become tangled up in my mind. Let me explain.

The typewriter doesn’t work. It has no ribbon and some of the letters stick. I’m not heartbroken about this, as it only cost me five pounds. I’m sure I could get it working again. I even did some (intimidating/confusing/overwhelming) research about buying a new ribbon, but generally, I just can’t be bothered. This begs the question: why did I buy it in the first place? Its function is purely decorative. It looks great on our book shelf, but every time I see it, I wonder why I don’t just sell it on Ebay for five times what I paid.

I think it comes down to a writerly nostalgia for erstwhile tools of the trade. Everywhere you look it’s feather quills, ink wells, and, of course, typewriters. They’re on t-shirts, mugs, badges – just do a Google search for typewriter tattoos! Sometimes, I look at all the typewriter merchandising and think, UGH, hipster nonsense. But, the truth is, I’m just as susceptible as anyone else. (Yes, there is a typewriter badge on the collar of my jacket). Literature has a long, rich history and these little gestures of symbolic participation are too tempting to pass up.

What’s this got to do with Tellus Magazine? As their motto states, Tellus is “a magazine for modern poetry which brings ancient worlds to new life”, and when it comes to writing systems, they don’t get much more ancient than Cuneiform. I figure, if we’re identifying with outdated writing tools, why not go back to the beginning? The tool used for writing in cuneiform is called a stylus (I looked it up). So, in honor of Tellus Magazine’s historical focus and the history of writing in general, I’m calling for a stylus revival. If it was good enough for the Code of Hammurabi, it’s good enough for trendy screen prints.

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