One of the reasons blogs have been a little less frequent this year is that alongside a very busy and enjoyable period working with some great Thinking Practice clients, I've been editing, proofing and getting ready to launch a book of poems, my first in 15 years. This was all going swimmingly-but-time-consumingly (200 pages takes ages to proof-read, and it had to be done several times) until a couple of weeks ago.
Smokestack Books (which sounds like a small corporation but is in actual fact the poet Andy Croft) were expecting delivery, I was excited to pick them up. Then they didn't arrive. Never mind, they'll be there Tuesday, after the Bank Holiday, we thought.
But they weren't. Phone calls revealed the printer was about to go into administration and nothing could be despatched, even though paid for, until that was clear, if at all. The company has now, sadly, ceased trading, with a warehouse full of books. Smokestack had 2 titles in the warehouse waiting to be sent out - my own and Gerda Stevenson's If This Were Real. Andy expects to get these, eventually, but we have had to retrieve a few copies which had got out - 1 box sent to the bookshop distributor, though most had already gone to bookshops to fulfil orders - and get a short emergency print run done to cover the launch period. This has meant a lot of brain stress and extra expense for Smokestack. (Not currently receiving any funding by the way.)
Anyway, I have now held copies in my hand, and can safely remind about/alert you to a couple of events next week to launch this book - Monday 10 June, 7pm at the Green Room in the Green Dragon Studios in Stockton, and Wednesday 12 June, 6pm at the Lit and Phil Library in Newcastle. (More details here.)
If any of you are in the area, it'd be great to see you. Both events are free, though do email the Lit and Phil to confirm a place. If not, why not do yourself and Smokestack a favour by buying a copy direct from their website, or another of their very fine titles. (One is by Superman's dad. Well, Christopher Reeves' dad anyway.)
You can also listen to me read some of the poems in a couple of downloadable podcasts I've done, which can be found here.(There are more to follow, too.)