Rhythm & Muse is hosting one of their fabulous evenings of poetry and music at The Railway Pub in Teddington next Tuesday the 12th from 8-11pm. In addition to featured performances by James Burton, Simon Stanley Ward, and The Flying Blueberries, there’ll be an open mic segment and I’ll be reading two poems from my debut chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, I’ll have some with me for sale, so be sure to bring some pocket money. Rhythm & Muse is a great place for insightful voices, both spoken and sung. I’ve read at these events several times before (see image below) and they’ve really helped me to read more confidently in public, so I’m excited to be getting back on their stage.
As I mentioned in my last post (and several times before), literary journals come and go very quickly. Just recently, I discovered that two more of the venues that published my work in the past have ceased to exist. For that reason, I must sadly wish farewell to the print publication Tellus Magazine and the online journal Phantom Kangaroo. They featured my poems In the Theatre of Epidaurus and Unidentified respectively. Fortunately, I’ve added a new section to this site where you can find all of the poems that I’ve reclaimed from these lost pages. Why leave them buried, right?
Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom in this camp. After last year’s confusion, my poem, Sphinx, should finally be appearing this October in Issue 7 of Phantom Drift. Also, I contributed a ‘Pi Art’ post card design to Elbow Room’s 5th birthday celebration. Order their ‘Volume 17‘ and you just might end up with it or any one of the other brilliant designs!
Since 2011, my poems have appeared in around 40 different publications. Some of these were print magazines and anthologies available for purchase while others were digital journals that you could read for free. In the intervening years, several publications of both types have disappeared, much to my dismay. So, I thought now would be a good time to do a little recap. If you’re interested in reading the poetry that I’ve published so far, peruse all 17 of these journals for free online:
If you like what you see, you can also purchase any or all of the 9 print publications listed below. This small investment in the arts will go a long way in keeping these things afloat. And while you’re at it, please consider picking up my debut chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving.
After a considerably long wait, not only is Elbow Room Volume 14 finally available for purchase on their website, it’s also ON SALE FOR HALF PRICE! For just 2.50, you can get hold of two of my favorite poems, Monument and Fundamentalism, not to mention loads of great stuff by other artists and writers. This sale is to celebrate Elbow Room’s 5th anniversary of being a publication, so please give us all something more to celebrate and buy a copy. Heck, buy ten.
I’m proud to announce that my poem, On Pompano Beach, is currently The Missouri Review’s Poem of the Week. This piece was inspired by a stranger-than-fiction bit of click bait (no pun intended) that I stumbled upon years ago on several dubious ‘news’ sites, but the tale eventually found itself a more reputable home in National Geographic, where you can enjoy it in full without the distraction of junk in the sidebar or hideous pop-up ads.
In other news, one of my newest poems, Rorschach, has been accepted for publication by The Worcester Review. It isn’t due to appear until later next year, but I’m excited now, so why not share?
Last but not least, I was recently fortunate enough to receive my print contributor’s copy of Issue 3:2 of Impressment Gang. As I said previously, it looks great. But, now that I’ve read it, I also want to give special mention to the poetry of Neil Surkan and the short fiction of Andrew Boden, both of which caught my eye. Do buy a copy of this issue and check out these fine writers.
When it comes to publication, the news tends to come in two parts: acceptance and appearance. Sometimes, the gap between them can be a long one. Sometimes, it’s even be longer than anyone could’ve expected, even the people putting together the literary journals. But, on the bright side, it gives writers two opportunities to get excited.
Though I initially got excited about being accepted by Elbow Room and Impressment Gang quite a while ago, the relevant issues have now finally landed in my lap and I’m thrilled all over again.
In the case of Impressment Gang, the news is bittersweet though, as the release of their Issue 3:2 comes with the sad news that they’ll be throwing in the towel after two more issues. It’s not too late to show this little magazine some support. I’d be thrilled if you bought this issue, as I’m particularly proud of the three poems that I have in it (Murmuration, Two Ways I Might Like It to Be, and The Stone’s Question). But don’t stop there! Buy their last two issues as well. Help them to go out with a bang and feel appreciated for the great work they’ve done. After all, 3:2 really does look great.
The story with Elbow Room is a little different. Issue 14, which features my poems Monument and Fundamentalism, was actually launched at an event back on 23rd September 2016. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about it until it was too late and therefore, was unable to attend. My contributor copy was on it’s way though, right? Well…something must’ve gone truly screwy with the postal service because it took no fewer than three attempts before it finally got to me! That said, I must thank the people at Elbow Room for their persistence. They must’ve thought I was just feeding the issues to my dog (and I don’t even have one). Anyway, I finally got Issue 14 a few weeks back and now that I’ve got a minute, I just wanted to sing its praises. The stunning art by Xiaoqiao Li and Minami Wrigley adds an extra dimension and the writing’s top notch as well. After reading Harry Denniston’s short story, Happy Anniversary, I thought “I want to meet these people, they sound wild”.
Issue 14 doesn’t appear in Elbow Room’s online shop yet, but I’m sure if you contact them (via social media?), you’d be able to get a copy.
I’m pressed for time, but I just want to thank everyone who came along and participated in the London launch of my debut poetry chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving. It was an intimate gathering, which is code for small, but loads of fun. I particularly wanted to thank Lucy Furlong, Dino Mahoney, and The Flying Horse for letting us use their cosy basement venue, which I now know is called St. Giles Bar. I’ve borrowed/stolen photos from various people below, so thanks to all of you as well. I plan on promoting this book through a variety of other events and readings, so keep an eye out for more news as it becomes available.
Also, almost forgot: the reading at Kingston went well too. It was a great honour to read with Mario Petrucci. I really enjoyed listening to him and chatting with him as well.
Thanks to a little last minute change of plans, I will be taking part in Kingston University Writing School’s superb Reading & Lecture Series this coming up Wednesday evening (26/4/17). I’ll be filling in for Rowena MacDonald and reading with Mario Petrucci. I’ve read at Kingston before and listened to Mario perform his work as well, so I can verify that he is an outstanding poet and these evenings are always good fun. For more information on Mario, check out his site and for details about the event, see the flyer below. I’ll have copies of my debut chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving, for sale, so you can hear the poems in person and go home with your own copy. Hope to see you there!
To celebrate the publication of my debut poetry chapbook, (Reasons for) Moving, I’m throwing a little launch party in London. If you’re interested in poetry, please spread the word and come along to show some support. If you aren’t, then just fill the seats, humor me, and enjoy a few drinks in a great venue.
Some fast facts:
What? Poetry Reading
Where? The Cellar of The Flying Horse, Oxford Street’s Last Alehouse
When? 20th May, 7-8:30 pm
How much? Free Entry
Who? Me (David Russomano), Lucy Furlong, and Possibly One More TBA
I’ll have a stack of copies on sale at the launch for just £5 each, but if you’d like to pick up a copy of (Reasons for) Moving beforehand, you can find it in Structo Press’s online shop.