Skip to main content

Borders patrol

I read at Borders today, as part of the Kingston Readers Festival, organised by Sandra (Sandy) Williams, who does an amazing job. Often, as you will know, readings in book chains are under-attended and poorly planned. This one was great. I had over forty in attendance, at lunchtime, and sold ten copies of my new and selected, Seaway. The audience listened well for over 45 minutes of poetry, asked questions, were supportive at the end, and was a genuinely wide-ranging group, of writers and readers of all ages, from about 20 to I'd say 75. It seemed the model of the sort of event one would want in one's own town. The Borders, in Kingston, is one of the only places to stock my work, so do support them, by getting a copy there, at Market Place, Kingston-Upon-Thames.

One slightly sad aspect was how everyone expressed their delight at hearing my poetry, and saying how well I'd read it. After my reading on 30th May, I have no events booked for the rest of 2009, in the UK. I have read at Ledbury once, years ago, and at Cheltenham, via Oxfam - but since then, nothing. Meanwhile, my Seaway has had no reviews in Canada, and, as far as I know, just two in Britain. I am a sort of invisible man, though people tell me "I am everywhere". Well, everywhere but in bookstores. Basically, Irish and Canadian books don't get much distribution in shops, as we know.

The lack of interest in my poetry, after two decades writing it, is stunning, and, frankly, wearying. What is moving is that good, decent, smart people, when exposed to poetry well-read, enjoy it.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…


According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…


Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:

HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!