Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Fast Year

I had ten days off at Easter/ Time enough to catch up with a few things, but I didn't even get round to reading a book. The last two novels I've started haven't really grabbed me - both contemporary novels they seem sluggish and unengaging. I'll plough on, but wonder if its these particular books - minor works by writers I've previously enjoyed - or something in my patience these days. Maybe I only have time for good books, brilliant books, original books.... but how to find them?

It does seem like the year is moving at apace. Somehow we're back in election cycle again. Maybe this is the new barometer of economic activity? Have more frequent elections with all the costs, all the nonsense, and then see what happens? Anyway more on that another time perhaps.

There have been a lot of cultural things going on. I'll mention a few in case you've missed them, or simply to say thanks.

Mystery Tubes - not an event, but an initiative from Islington Mill as part of its innovative fundraising methods to match fund the public money to restore and expand provision at this amazing building. For £25, a tube with original art contained within from a range of contemporary artists who've contributed to help fundraising for this unique venue. There's a Heath-Robinson style vending machine in Fred Aldous art shop in the Northern Quarter.

Making Space by Sarah Tierney - though its hard to believe its so long ago, I first met Sarah Tierney as she studied on the same creative writing course as me but a year or two after. She's always worked as a journalist and had a few things published over the years, but "Making Space" is her debut novel - and was launched at Waterstones last week. An unorthodox love story that covers mental health, urban living, Whalley Range, growing up in your twenties and hoarding - I'm looking forward to it, although a friend read a bit about the "hoarding" and said "is this you?"

All the Places I've Ever Lived by David Gaffney - plenty of anticipation for David Gaffney's 2nd novel, and maybe his sixth or seventh book - a novel set in West Cumbria, that not so much mixes genres as leaps over genre-distinctions without a second thought, I read and enjoyed parts of this as it was being written - and you can hear it in and around Manchester in the forthcoming weeks with a launch event at the Wonder Inn on Shude Hill on Thursday 18th May with support from rock 'n' roll-literary types Hot Shorts and poet, man-about-town Tom Jenks.

All The Sins - this is an online magazine going from strength to strength and I'm pleased to have two poems "Artist Pop" and "Joni" in its latest edition.

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