Poetry Road Trip – Join us on the A470

Featured

This spring and summer we’re taking A470: Poems for the Road / Cerddi’r Ffordd on the road! Join us at one of the bilingual events below, as we visit libraries and bookshops up and down the A470 (and surrounding areas…).

Upcoming

  • Sunday 10th July 3:30pm, , £5 part of Gŵyl Arall Festival, Caernafon
  • Editors Ness Owen & Sian Northey will be joined by Sion Aled, Sara Louise Wheeler, and Lowri Williams to read and talk about the book.
  • Thursday 21st July: The Hours Cafe & Bookshop, Brecon, 6.30pm
    Join us at The Hours brand new premises in Brecon Cathedral grounds for readings and conversation with Gareth Writer-Davies, Clare E Potter, Diana Powell, Sian Northey and Stephen Payne.  Get your free ticket
  • Sunday, 24th July: The Poetry Pharmacy, Bishop’s Castle, 11am
    Nipping over the border into Shropshire for Readings from Sian Northey, Gareth Writer-Davies, Jeremy Dixon, Ness Owen, Pat Edwards and Stephen Payne at the world’s first walk-in Poetry Pharmacy. Get your ticket (£5 incl refreshments) 

Past

  •  28th May: Cardiff Central Library Hub
    Readings from Kevin Mills, Tracey Rhys, Mike Jenkins, Nicholas McGaughey, Morgan Owen, Christina Thatcher, Jeremy Dixon, Sian Northey, Sîon Aled, Lowri Williams and Des Mannay. watch the video


  •  30th May: Storyville Books, Pontypridd
    Nicholas McGaughey, Jeremy Dixon, Stephen Payne and Sîon Aled read from A470 in an evening of poetry, with music and nibbles too! watch the videos

  • 31st May: Siop Lyfrau’r Hen Bost, Blaenau Ffestiniog
    Simon Chandler, Sara Louise Wheeler, Haf Llewelyn, Lowri Williams and Sian Northey read from A470  in Blaenau Ffestiniog. watch the videos

  • 1st June: Owain Glyndŵr’s Parliament House, Heol Maengwyn, Machynlleth, SY20 8EE
    Pulling up outside Senedd-Dy to stretch their legs and catch their breath, editors Sian Northey and Ness Owen talked with Poet Sara Louise Wheeler about how A470 came about, the process of creating a bilingual book and the translation decisions they had to make, reading some of their favourite poems from the book on the way. Watch the video
  • 30 June: The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
    An evening of bilingual poetry readings and conversation with Ness Owen, Sian Northey, Pat Edwards, Diana Powell, Sara Louise Wheeler, Siôn Aled, Jeremy Dixon, Rhys Owain Williams, Rae Howells, Lowri Haf Williams, Sandra Evans, Gareth Writer-Davies.

You can track all our events on our interactive A470 map too.

See you on the road! If you’d like more information about any of these events, please email outreach@arachnepress.com

 

 

Arachne Press at Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival

We’re pleased to announce that we will be at Lambeth Readers and Writers Festival on Tuesday 17 May with a panel event based on Where We Find Ourselves: Poems and Stories of Maps and Mapping from UK Writers of the Global Majority.

Join us at Clapham Library for readings and a Q & A discussion with:

Ngoma Bishop

Marina Sánchez

Nikita Chadha

Farhana Khalique

Rick Dove

Emily Abdeni-Holman

L Kiew

The event is free, but ticketed.  Book your tickets here.

You will be able to buy a copy of Where We Find Ourselves at the event, or you can buy one from our webshop now.

Favourite memories of Solstice Shorts

Solstice Shorts – our annual celebration of original poetry, stories and music for the shortest day – is rapidly approaching. We asked Solstice regular, poet and writer Rob Walton to share some memories of the festival, and accompanying anthologies, from years gone by. This year’s theme is Words from the Brink – writing and music in response to the climate crisis.

Rob Walton: I count myself lucky to have been included in more than one of the Solstice Shorts books, and fortunate indeed to have had my work performed/read by others. It was a great thrill to hear ‘Words on Paper’, a story of which I’m very fond, read aloud in Carlisle. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I’m chuffed it was recorded for posterity and also appeared in print.

Ben Brinicombe reads Words on Paper by Rob Walton, BSL translation by Karen Edmondson

I’ve definitely enjoyed seeing some of my more, er interesting pieces reach a range of audiences – I wonder what the crowds (I’m guessing) in Lisbon and Maryport made of ‘The Dowager Duchess of Berwick-upon-Tweed May or May Be Bottling It’? I’ve written micro-fictions shorter than that title!

This year’s offering, ‘Mr King Has Decided to Pursue Other Avenues’, is inspired by a long-standing commitment to environmental change and, possibly, that time I had to leave my primary school class behind on the beach trip when I was stung by a weaver fish. These things stay lodged somewhere and appear, transformed, years later…

Read an extract from ‘Mr King Has Decided to Pursue Other Avenues’:

It was a liberal and progressive school – some would say slack and lackadaisical – and when Mr King said he wanted to stay at the beach at the end of the trip, they wished him well and happily set off without him. It was almost time for the long holiday, and when he wasn’t there to take registration the following morning they arranged temporary cover, and later replaced him with somebody younger with a similar name and the same tattooist. (Mr Prince would be pleased to get the job because Hokusai’s expertly inked The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which covered all of his back, had been very expensive. And quite painful. Also, he knew it would be a star turn on a staff night out.

Words from the Brink is available to pre-order from our online shop.

Buy your tickets for Solstice Shorts 2021 on Eventbrite.

 

Love Audio Week: This Poem Here

To conclude our #LoveAudio blog series, here is an extract from the remarkable poetry collection, This Poem Here by Rob Walton.

Arachne Press Director, Cherry Potts, recently said of This Poem Here: “At the start of lockdown, Rob Walton was responding to the anxieties and absurdities of the Corona Virus crisis by writing poetry. He published a lot of these poems on social media, as real-time responses to the latest news. Watching and enjoying them from afar, I approached Rob to publish them as a book. We were in conversation about this project when Rob’s dad sadly died from Covid. The poems in the collection then took a radical turn, delving into rage, sorrow and grief. I can’t imagine a more appropriate collection to have published in this ‘you-couldn’t-make-it-up’ era.”

Full of tears, laughter, biting political satire and Geordie grammar, these are poems that are meant to be read aloud. Here is ‘And in Lockdown’:

You can also watch Rob Walton reading some of the collection in the video from the online launch of This Poem Here: https://youtu.be/sNijjLH4zB0  (be warned, he made many of us cry!).

#LoveAudio is the Publisher’s Association annual week-long digital celebration of audiobooks is designed to showcase the accessibility, innovation, and creativity of the format. Follow the hashtag on twitter.

Arachneversary – Five by Five

Our penultimate video for the Arachneversary. This is quite long, as all five writers contributed both thoughts and/or readings. We enjoyed it so much we’re thinking of doing it regularly. Featuring Joan Taylor-Rowan, Cassandra Passarelli, Katy Darby, Helen Morris and Sarah James.

Five by Five was one of our books celebrating the centenary of some women in the UK finally getting the vote. There’s nothing about voting in it, just women going about their (extr)ordinary lives.

You can buy a copy from our webshop

If you are quick you can still use our August discount code, ARACHNEVERSARY – it EXPIRES 31st AUGUST!

 

 

Arachneversary – Foraging – Joy Howard

Interview with poet Joy Howard, author of Foraging, who also runs a small press, Grey Hen, so we wander off the point a bit. This is a phone conversation with added images, the sound isn’t great but we’ve included it for completeness. Only a couple of days left until the end of the Arachneversary celebrations!

You can buy Foraging from our webshop, but if you want that August discount, you need to get a move on, it expires 31st August at midnight. Use the code ARACHNEVERSARY at the checkout.

ARACHNEVERSARY – Alex Smith – Devilskein and Dearlove

Editor Cherry Potts talks about Devilskein and Dearlove a young adult novel by Alex Smith, which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal on 2015. Includes Q&A with the author, animated trailer by Nick Page and a couple of readings by actors Greg Page and Peter Noble.

You can buy Devilskein and Dearlove from our Webshop. Use the discount code ARACHNEVERSARY at the checkout throughout August.

Arachneversary video 6: Jane Aldous and Let Out the Djinn

Poet Jane Aldous and editor Cherry Potts discuss Jane’s poetry collection, Let Out the Djinn, editing, poetry and cats…

you can buy Let out the Djinn (on sale throughout August) from our Webshop.

Just put in ARACHNEVERSARY at checkout to get your discount.

 

Arachneversary video two: The Old Woman from Friuli

We’ve gone Jackanory for this book by Ghillian Potts, with Ed Boxall‘s illustrations and additional papercuts by Cherry Potts used to tell the story, with narration also by Cherry.

You can buy a copy of this excellent folk tale for children of every age from our webshop – remember to use the code ARACHNEVERSARY at the check out to get £1 off.

Join us tomorrow for Liars’ League books with Katy Darby.

Eighth Anniversary events coming up

arachne 8 logoTechnically it was our 8th anniversary yesterday, as the day we registered the company in 2012, but eight is an important number for Arachnids, so we are celebrating throughout August (eighth Month) for our Eighth year.
We have:
An Anniversary Anthology: No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book, launching with online readings.

Lots of authors are joining in, A. Katherine Black, Carolyn Robertson, David Mathews, Daniel Oliveri, Elizabeth Hopkinson, Emma Lee, Hugh Findlay, Jackie Taylor, Joanne LM Williams, KT Wagner and Kate Foley, Phoebe Demeger, Seth Crook and Stella Wulf, on the website, and we will be premiering on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page, on 8/8/2020 at 8pm BST.

you might like to go and subscribe/follow the channel/page so that you get a reminder!

Normally when we launch in real life, we have a cake. Obviously thats a bit of a challenge, so I’ll be sharing the recipe the day before so you can bake your own!

I’ve been thinking about spidery cakes, and its not an appealing notion, apart from maybe spun sugar web – but my skills don’t stretch to that, so I’m planning to riff on Miss Muffet’s curds and whey, and make some sort of cheese cake – possibly an Austrian one my mum used to make. It has currants in. I’ll leave that thought with you…
BUY A COPY OF NO SPIDER HARMED FROM US!
In addition, we have video interviews and readings with most of the authors of our single author titles, and we are working on getting more people involved; we have a sort of animation of The Old Woman from Friuli (reminiscent of Jackanory style) and introductions to each of our anthologies from the editors.

I don’t want to over promise on this because we haven’t actually finished filming, never mind finished editing, but there should be something every day during August. Again: on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, and of course, right here on our own website** (actually not, if the upload keeps failing… maybe the shorter ones… but not consistently here.)
The first few events, are as follows (at 8pm BST unless otherwise noted):
01/08/2020 Mosaic of Air
02/08/2020 The Old Woman from Friuli (2pm!)
03/08/2020 Katy Darby – Liars’ books
04/08/2020 Stations
05/08/2020 Jeremy Dixon – In Retail
06/08/2020 Jane Aldous – Let Out the Djinn
07/08/2020 Kate Foley – A Gift of Rivers and The Don’t Touch Garden
08/08/2020 No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book LAUNCH
09/08/2020  The Brook Storyteller Series (2pm)
10/08/2020  Math Jones The Knotsman
11/08/2020  Rosamund Davies and Kam Rehal: Story Cities
and so on…

ON 15TH AUGUST WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE FINAL LINE UP FOR SOLSTICE SHORTS

We will also be announcing plans for publications for the next three years, at least, later in the month.
Everything is a bit tentative, funding and covid being what they are, but we think if we say we are going to do something, it makes it a lot more likely – after all, we managed to get our anniversary anthology together in the teeth of a pandemic!

Throughout August there will be special offers on books

Expect around a pound off most books, and some buy one get one cheaper, or buy the whole series offers when bought from our webshop, starting 1st August. Our webshop isn’t very sophisticated so I think I’ll have to set them up on the day, so be patient!