Sunday, December 15, 2013



I daren't look back at my plans a year ago. The year began with fretting over whether to put in for redundancy (I didn't in the end), plans to go to Australia and start househunting (both of which were scuppered by an emergency eye op in June) - and a sense that something had to change in 2013. Well, nothing much did. Same job, same flat etc. etc.

Creatively its also been a difficult year - I've not been particularly outgoing regarding my poetry this year, reading in Manchester when asked, but not a lot of it. I've been putting together a collection of sorts, and over Christmas that's something I hope to concentrate on. Where it will end up who knows? My previous publisher Salt, gave up on single poet collections this year for a start. I had things published in two lovely small press publications. Two poems in "Sculpted: Poetry of the NW", and a story in "Unthology 4". I'd probably not expected to do too much music after last year's abundance, but I finished my 5th album since 2007 in the summer, "Kleptomania", which is available to download now.

I'll do a proper "albums" of the year over the holiday period - I'm not sure I've read enough new stuff to do a "books" of the year; the best poetry I found in magazines, pamphlets and at live events - thinking of Sarah Crewe's "Flick Invicta", the "Dear World" anthology, visual poetry sites M58 and Verse Kraken, ZimZalla's "Alternative Anniversaries" by Leanne Bridgewater; and more conventionally published books such as Melissa Lee Houghton ("Beautiful Girls"), Instant-flex 718 by Heather Phillipson, Chloe Hooper's "The Engagement", and Olivia Laing's literary biography "The Trip to Echo Spring." 

And couldn't resist sharing this link. Its 100 years ago today that Ezra Pound contacted James Joyce and kickstarted literary modernism. Thanks for Ted Gioia for this piece in the Daily Beast. 


Thinking about 2014 I think we can look forward (!) to plenty of World War I anniversaries - as well as the ongoing list of modernism anniversaries.

A friend has started a new magazine for fiction and poetry, here in Manchester, and is not only looking for submissions, but will be paying successful ones. Confingo Magazine will come out in the Spring - and he'd be happy to get some more submissions over the Christmas period.

Other friends have curated the first ever exhibition of William Burroughs photography which should be a January highlight at the Photographer's Gallery. 

The current exhibition at Castlefield Gallery looks at Radical Conservatism, in its many possible forms - and if you don't get over immediately, then make sure you attend the final weekend symposium at the start of February.

Right, with that, I'd better get writing my Xmas cards. 

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