Adding to the woeful pattern that's been developing around here this is just a short post and mini-update, so for those of you who do stick around the Wasteland, my thanks and also apologies; I promise I'll post something meatier in the future.
Last weekend I went down to London, and had a very useful (and entirely painless*) editorial meeting with Roddy Lumsden, going through the poems that'll be included in my forthcoming tall-lighthouse pamphlet, The Sparks, to be published alongside Emily Berry's with a launch on November 14th - details on the TL website. I'm feeling slightly more confident about the whole thing, as the meet helped to re-shape certain poems into what - after rewriting - will hopefully be tighter, stronger pieces, and tidy up weaknesses in others that are closer to completion. It was also great to see Roddy perform his own work at the Betsey Trotwood in the evening, and meet other tall-lighthouse Pilot poets who also gave good readings, Retta Bowen in particular. For those interested, my reading 'set list' was as follows:
3. The Tesla Coil
5. Lights Out
It was good to catch up with old friends in the capital, too, not least a school pal who happened to be down for the day before he travels to the States for a few months, who I met by total coincidence on the tube. Unfortunately however, this weekend promises to be less enjoyable, as I've an increasing pile of editing, writing and menial tasks on my to-do-list. Still, I'm enjoying getting properly stuck into Leontia Flynn and Zoe Skoulding's work for critical perspectives I'm writing of them, so it's not all bad...
In the meantime then, before I get around to writing something substantial here, I'll mention that my critical perspective of Faber poet Hugo Williams is now up, and my review of Stephanie Norgate's Forward Prize-shortlisted first collection, Hidden River, is in this week's TLS. Now I'm off to shop for socks and a new pair of trousers. At least it's sunny out...
*Which is to say no poems, or poets, were harmed in the process.
Friday 19th September at The Betsey Trotwood, 56 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London @ 7.30pm: £5
BroadCast presents a reading by poets from the tall-lighthouse Pilot Series, pamphlets by poets aged 30 and under. Readings from Gareth Jones, Kate Potts and Retta Bowen, plus the next two poets in the series Emily Berry and Ben Wilkinson, and series editor Roddy Lumsden.
I've been a fan of London-based alt-rock band Seafood since I first saw them performing at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall about seven years ago, shortly after the release of their second album When Do We Start Fighting. Flavour of the month for a whole, uh, month back in 1998 (around the time of their first release, EP Messenger in the Camp), they've since had four albums, the latest being Paper Crown King, never quite breaking into the mainstream despite considerable radio airplay and praise from the likes of Steve Lamacq. When you consider much of the empty-headed chart schmindie that sells by the bucketload, then, this seems a shame, but as long as they keep making music for their small, dedicated fanbase, it suits me fine. The track above is 'Led By Bison', perhaps the best from their first album, and well worth a listen.