Mosaic of Air was the book that kicked off Arachne Press. Here, Arachne owner, editor (and in this case, author) Cherry Potts talks about the how and why of that, and reads from two of the stories, with assistance from Alix Adams.
We launched Outcome last night ahead of today’s Coming Out Day, with a party hosted by University of Greenwich LGBT+ Staff Network, Alumni Association and the Student Union LGBT+ forum.
The Heritage gallery went from a quiet white space to a vivid crowd of 113 smiling faces on the walls-
to an even bigger crowd partying the night away, complete with rainbow lights!
As usual I was busy selling books, so didn’t get a chance to speak to many people so THANK YOU for coming out and making the evening spectacular.
Special thanks to Dean Atta for reading.
I didn’t take many pictures either, so if people have some they are willing to share, please get in touch!
The exhibition continues until Friday 14th, and if you would like to take part in the Outcome project Tom is on site today, (Tuesday) until 4pm, and on Thursday 10-2 with a pop up studio.
You need: to be LGBT+ (yes, you really do), to have a clear photo of yourself as a child that you can bring with you or can email to be photoshopped in later, and to come dressed as you would for work. We have several bookings already, so get in touch before coming along, but we’d be very happy to see you.
There is a live panel Q&A with Tom, Bisi Alimi, Femi Otitoju, Alix Adams (all featuring in the project) plus representatives from the Staff and Student LGBT+ groups at the University.
Everything happens in: The Heritage Gallery, Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9LS. The Gallery is a little hard to find, so head for the chapel andthen turn towards the river, you will see the three arches in the middle of the building on your right, and we are in there on your left. Simple!!
Arachne will be trundling about this month – founder Cherry Potts is speaking at St Leonard’s Salon on 20th July (That’s St Leonard’s near Hastings) south coast friends, and anyone who’d like a trip to the seaside, it would be lovely to see you! Alix Adams will be there too, helping to read extracts from various books.
On the 26th we are at Bookwood pop-up book fair along with lots of other small indie publishers, at Netil Market in Westwood Street E8 (Near Broadway Market). It’s handy for the Overground, so we are hoping for fine weather and are in discussion as to whether there is somewhere practical for Stations authors Bartle Sawbridge, Rosalind Stopps and Wendy Gill to read to you. We hope so, as it will be very close to Arachne’s 3rd birthday, and we like to celebrate in style! Come along for special birthday offers, and signed copies.
Alix Adams, long-term supporter of Arachne Press, put her reading glasses on and stepped in to the breach for two readings of Devilskein & Dearlove, our magnificent Young Adult novel by Alex Smith, first at Rochester Literature Festival and then at Albion Beatnik in Oxford.
Alix is a past mistress of ‘reading in voices’, although a Cape Town accent is beyond her, and spent many hours when I first met her, reading to me while I washed up – it’s the only way she could get me to do it! It’s good to be able to share her talents with the rest of the world. (We have a dishwasher now.)
LGBT History month is keeping us busy this year. Cherry Potts is reading from Mosaic of Air at a number of events (Incidentally, should you be keen enough to want to come to all the events Cherry is involved in over February, she will be making an effort to read something different each time, and the focus will vary too, as will the company!
Lewisham Library 199-201 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6LG
6th February 7.45 for 8, until 9.30
free, but ticketed. 40 tickets available so probably wise to book.
The Story Sessions, Queer Tales, 19th February 7.45 at the Ivy House SE15 3BE – Cherry, Catherine Blackfeather, Anny Knight, Rebecca Idris and Clare Summerskill (Voluntary financial contributions welcomed, and of course you can join in with 100 words on theme in Flash from the Floor.)
North Kensington Library 108 Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, W11 1PZ
(11th February 18:30) is Cherry on her own, reading from Mosaic of Air and some newer work, and discussing how things have changed since MoA was first published. Free.
Walthamstow Library, High Street Walthamstow, E17 7JN 12th February 19:00 is Cherry and actor Sarah Feathers, reading from Mosaic of Air and from Lovers’ Lies in an event called Holding a Mirror up to the 80′s, Lesbian Short Stories now and then, so more historical observation! This is a ticketed event but still free.
And finally: in company with Alix Adams, local author Cherry Potts reads from her short story collection Mosaic of Air, grief, old age, spiders and song, all from a lesbian perspective. Free. 7pm Friday 21st February Crofton Park Library 375 Brockley Rd, London SE4 2AG.
…oh, not finally – we’ve been asked to do another:
It’s finally arrived. After all the writing, choosing, naming, negotiating, cover planning, blurbing, AI-ing, blogging, forewording, typesetting, printing, marketing …
and all the other things that make a book happen, it’s time to announce TWINS!!
More weird stories than you can shake a spaceship at.
The e-book versions are slightly delayed, on account of the Towersey adventure, but it was worth it. They should be available in about a month, if not sooner.
We aren’t actually doing anything today to celebrate, beyond this blog, and this rather silly picture, but we are launching in style at The Royal Observatory next Tuesday. If you are planning on coming and haven’t yet responded to your invitation, please do so asap, as we are close to maximum numbers, and may have to open a waiting list. We are doing another set of readings in the more relaxed atmosphere of the Misty Moon Gallery on Saturday 5th October.
I would like to thank Alix (pictured, right) for her stirling support of Arachne. When first mooted, she was asked if she wanted to be involved, and a firm no came back. Nonetheless, she comes to almost all the events, sells books, chats to the audience, fields the occasional phone call and drags me away from the computer when I start cursing. Mosaic of Air was dedicated to her when it first came out twenty odd years ago – it still is.