Just a quick note on here about a Telltale & Friends reading coming soon. I shall be hosting the evening. A great bill… First, and hotter than a sizzling hot thing, is John McCullough right now. He’s a long-term Telltale friend, and his spanking new collection Spacecraft is already going down a storm. On the night we’ll also showcase Telltale’s latest recruit Jess Mookherjee, whose collection Telltale will be launching later this year. You’ll also find on the bill are fabulous Telltale stars Sarah Barnsley (The Fire Station) and Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid).
So another cheery Telltale night. First our special guests… Sue Rose, who I have had a bit of a poetic crush on after hearing her read from The Cost of Keys earlier this year was warm and fantastic. Tamar Yoseloff read from two books, both collaborations with artists. The excellent Formerly made with photographer Vici MacDonald, Her latest book Nowheres is a collaboration with artist David Harker whose fine exhibition Drawing the Line was, handily enough, running at the Poetry Cafe. David’s fine pencil drawings are gorgeous.
Telltale’s newest recruit is Sarah Barnsley, who gave an excellently assured reading of excerpts from her pamphlet, The Fire Station, forthcoming this year. Sarah has a particular affinity for US modernist poetry, but there is something absolutely English about her robust and deft writing.
Having been lucky enough to hear Robin Houghton read lots lately, I have watched her transform into an exceptional reader. A sequence of poems about working in a male-dominated corporation was wonderful. I am increasingly aware of ‘fit subjects for poetry’ writing about subjects that are already somehow ‘poetic’. These poems of Robin’s drag poetry from corporate glass offices and where attractions, put-downs and the gamut of human emotions occur in the corporate canteen or the business hotel rather than against some picturesque sunset.
Laura Donnelly was over from New York, although from the mid-west, kindly read a couple of outstanding poems from her phone.
As for myself… I did some poems from memory, which I am finding increasingly freeing. But annoyingly I am making the same mistakes again. The last couple of readings I risked untried material before I’m convinced of its quality. I do this because I think the reading should have a little edge to it, but in fact what happens in reality is that while I’m reading it, I can feel my confidence seeping away. The next reading I do is going to be bullet proof.
A quick humblebrag… I’m on tonight at the Poetry Cafe at 7.00pm as a part of a Telltale Press and Friends reading, with new Telltale recruit Sarah Barnsley, plus the brilliant Tamar Yoseloff who I’ve not read with since the 90s, Sue Rose whose new book I love plus multiple award-winning Robin Houghton. The Poetry Cafe is here.
I’m really happy to be reading with Tamar Yoseloff, whose collaboration with artist David Harker, Nowheres has just been launched. Sue Rose‘s book The Cost of Keys is one I’ve come to admire, especially her poem A Guided Tour that I wrote about recently. Sarah Barnsley is Telltale’s newest recruit and her pamphlet The Fire Station is going to be a major event. Add Robin Houghton whose readings have become increasingly dramatic and assured and it’s going to be a cracker.
Please come to this reading if you find yourself in spitting distance of central London. For, with no trace at all of post-festive wear, Telltale press and friends will burst from the blocks on Wednesday 7th January, at 7.00pm at the Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton Street, WC2H 9BX.
Rhona McAdam, one of the outstanding Canadian poets of her generation is launching Ex-Ville her spanking new collection. Meanwhile Catherine Smith is fresh from the triumphant launch of The New Cockaigne, published by Frogmore Press (a journey into a place of compulsory debauchery, where rivers flow with beer). Add to the evening, an exciting new talent: Siegfried Baber journeying from Bath to showcase fresh work, plus Telltale’s own Robin Houghton (who quietly bagged winning spot in The Stanza Poetry Competition a few weeks ago) as well as me too.
I usually think of January as the ghastly great Monday of the year. But this reading is making me feel weirdly positive.
A hectic time for Robin Houghton and myself is upcoming, as Telltale Press starts its inexorable rise to poetic world domination with three showcase readings. I launch my pamphlet The Nightwork and Robin will showcase her just-published, The Great Vowel Shift – and we will be joined by some amazing poets over the three shows.
The first two events are invitation-only. For your invite to the Lewes or Brighton and Hove event simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through this site – and I’ll be sure you’re invited.
Wednesday 24th September 7.30pm Cameron Contemporary Art, 1 Victoria Grove, Second Avenue, Hove BN3 2LJ featuring Catherine Smith, John McCullough, Robin Houghton and Peter Kenny.
As well as it being the first launch of The Nightwork it is also an opportunity to meet Telltale’s resident cover artist Hannah Clare there will also be drinks, nibbles and music.
The final reading is in London’s Covent Garden.
Wednesday 1st October 2014, 7.30pm The Poetry Cafe, 22 Betterton St, London WC2 9BX all are welcome to this reading which also features Rishi Dastidar and Anja Konig – as well as Robin and I. See below.