High time for an update, methinks!
Over Easter I was in Amsterdam and Utrecht, performing as part of the inaugural City2Cities literary festival
. The festival takes three European cities and "twins" them (or should that be "triplets" them?), and this year the three were Utrecht, Stockholm and Edinburgh. I was asked to be the official Edinburgh poet, and I was really proud to represent my city at the festival. I worked on translations, performed heaps of times, met loads of truly brilliant poets and was paid for the priviledge (and put up in free, gorgeous accomodation, no less!). Was I dreaming...? It was an amazing time. And I now want to move to Utrecht, it's gorgeous.
I haven't really submitted any work anywhere for over a year, which is really bad poeting. I got excited about the prospect of Bedtime Stories II: The Second Coming
from Forest Publications
(everything they produce is gorgeous
), so I sent a poem there and was accepted. But otherwise, it's time to get back on the submitting wagon.
Which is why most of my poems have done a disappearing act from here. I've submitted to a big national anthology and some major UK journals, so keep everything crossed for me. As you possibly know, I hate the whole submitting process -- hence the year's break -- toiling over which poems are best for which journal, making sure you don't accidentally simultaneously submit, waiting waiting waiting. But it's a necessary evil.
You've probably noticed the massive box on the left-hand side of my page, but just in case you're partially sighted or very absent-minded: my book is finally on sale. It was unofficially launched at the StAnza International Poetry Festival
a few weeks ago, and went online here
about a month ago. I have already sold around half the print run, which is very, very exciting and most unexpected. The official launch is still in the works... and I'd love to sell the first print run out entirely before then (I've been promised a reprint). It's a silly goal, but hey. The book is super pretty, typeset with huge help from leonart
and with a truly gorgeous cover image by Myrrhiam
. Check it out.
+I was recently featured in UK broadsheet The Observer
, talking about typewriters and how they inform and facilitate my writing process. I was interviewed by the very sweet Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy and photographed by legend Murdo McLeod. You can read the piece in full here
(try to avoid the comments... but if you do stray down there, you can read some of my responses here
). Off the back of the article, I've been asked to participate in heaps of interesting stuff -- details of which are here
. I'm now also in talks to be involved in a documentary film for National Poetry Day, and am in the early stages of discussion about helping to author a literary guide to Edinburgh. All. very. exciting.
And of course, myself and the supertalented and gorgeous Steve
are putting together STARRY VERSES: 85 Years of Allen Ginsberg. It will eventually be an anthology of poems inspired by the great man's works. We're planning to launch it at a huge bash on what would have been AG's 85th birthday -- 3rd June this year. Over 120 poets have already registered their interest and submissions are flooding in. There are only a few days left to get on board, but if you would like to try and write us something, click here
for more details.
and I did a great photoshoot the other day -- in light of the post-Observer-article-interest, I wanted to get some photos of me + some of my typewriters. Here are the results -- I love them so much! Thanks dude!
Finally, I've been asked to return to teach at SUISS at the University of Edinburgh
again this year as a Creative Writing tutor. I enjoyed it so much last year that I jumped at the chance. My regular lecturing job is also going splendidly -- in spite of the harsh public sector cuts in the UK at the moment, I'm still employed. And still loving every minute!
As always, you can keep up with my activities, rants and random thoughts at One Night Stanzas
. I've also started a Tumblr
, just for fun, so if you have one, give me a follow!