Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Roundup

Well, the poets went to the Palace, (as I mentioned beforehand). I'm not sure if anyone's done a good write up of it, but apparently a nice evening was had by most. Some rather nasty Facebook spats have taken place since the event, which have been as bewildering as any family arguments always are. For writers who know they are best with a few words, they do like spreading them around a bit sometimes. I did enjoy Adam Horowitz's take on things however. Though, like me, he wasn't on the list, so was not coming in. A bit like the Hacienda c. 1991. Plus ca  change. (There's a clip of the event here.)

I've been busy not writing anything or rather trying to write at least something during the inevitable busy period that I have every autumn. Got back yesterday from a hectic few days in Barcelona; however, struck by the thought of how much more I might accomplish just by living somewhere that's warm all the time. One's optimism is refreshed. A good place for poets, I think, perhaps less so for prose writers who probably need the long winters, and no distractions of late night cocktail bars.

It meant that sadly I was unable to join quite a lot of Manchester's art community decamping to Scarborough for Bob and Roberta Smith's Art Party conference. That this idea - a political rally cum performance event cum festival - has grabbed artists' imagination, must be because there are so few opportunities when artists - quiet and solitary by nature, like poets - have an opportunity to get together and let there hair down. I wish I could have been there. Are artists more radical than poets these days? It might well be so. (It was only Rembrandt's hanging in the Royal palace apparently, not republicans.)

The first of the end of year lists are out. From Piccadilly Records and Rough Trade shops. There's less of a consensus around records of the year these days (see that RT's number one is only #22 in the PR list for instance) but good lists if you're looking to find something new. I've already good albums by Kurt Vile, Savages and Ducktails on these lists, but look forward to exploring some more.

In books - the first "books of the year" in yesterday's Guardian seems a little dull - especially if you're looking for new fiction or poetry, chockful with biographies (mainly of Penelope Fitzgerald) and other non fiction books. Better off looking at the small publishers who do release books for Christmas, and occasionally put them on sale. I've just received "Posthumous Stories" by David Rose from Salt, and looking forward to "Beautiful Girls" by Melissa Lee Houghton from Penned in the Margins when she reads in Manchester on 5th December. There's also "Unthology 4" with my story "The Cat" if you're looking for a nice compilation. A review of it here.

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