Friday, May 12, 2006

The new poetry

I'm in Brussels next week, so will miss Michael Schmidt, my old tutor, and James Davies, one of our favourite local poets, reading at the Tai Chi Village Hall in Didsbury. The poets and players nights there include musicians as well as poets, and the mix works well, although the evenings are a little surreal, since the village hall is a "no shoes" venue, and the refreshments are green tea and biscuits rather than cigarettes and alcohol. Its no reflection on the poets that your usually gagging for an alcoholic drink at the end of the evening. In fact, the suburbs are where its at, with the Chorlton Arts Festival beginning next week as well. There's a poetry competition attached to it, and I might have a go, though my only previous Chorlton poem was called "Get Out of Chorlton!" I know Michael Schmidt from my MA, back in 1997-9, and obviously we've bumped into each other now and then since then. I met with one of my other coursemates on Tuesday, for the first time in an age, and as always, I was impressed that he is still writing, quite methodically, a book a year, despite, like myself being no nearer to finding a publisher. I've decided to try and become my own publisher, through the online print-on-demand facility It looks straightforward, and so I'm just going to jump in and have a go. First things first: what would be my first book? I've decided to package the 3 poetry pamphlets I issued during 2004-5 (2 of them are available to download) as a single book. Of the various page formats they offer, I quite like the idea of the 7" by 7" square, I think it will make for distinctive books. In an attempt to pull the village where I grew up back from the clutches of the BNP (see post below), I'm going to call this venture "norton canes editions." If anyone reading this blog has experience of I'd be grateful for any tips - otherwise I'll let you know my progress on this blog.

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