Amsterdam poets…

Arachne’s Amsterdam poets are reading together (with others) this Sunday…

(From the facebook info…)

Sunday 20 May at 4pm Labyrinth is hosting a poetry afternoon. ‘Stranger in A Strange Land’.
English language poets living in and around Amsterdam present their work based on their experiences in their old and new homes. Presented by Jeremy Keighley,
Line up of Poets:
Featuring Poet Kate Foley, Abra Bertman, Vicky Enea, Simon Brod, Lisa Suess, Jeremy Keighley and Robin Winckel

The poetry critique group started about 15 years ago and is a varied group of people who meet twice a month to read, discuss and critique each other’s poetry with a view to encouraging and improving their poetry. Along with the Poetry Critique, the group organises occasional Readings and Workshops.

Labyrinth (Amstelveenseweg 53, 1075VT Amsterdam, Netherlands) is a cocktail, food & poetry bar based in Amsterdam Zuid next to the Vondelpark. Labyrinth serves delicious food, special cocktails and regularly organises poetry events. Through the art of poetry and spoken word Labyrinth aims to bring people in their diversity together.

Facebook event

The Amsterdam Launch of A Gift of Rivers

A couple of pictures from last week’s launch of A Gift of Rivers at Waterstones in Amsterdam.

Kate kept everyone engaged despite feeling a bit below par, and Tim says he sold lots of books (Kate noticed some people buying more than one copy, which is always nice.) Wish I could have been there!

There are a handful of copies left in store so anyone in Amsterdam who missed it Tim will be very pleased to sell you a copy.

Also available at all bookshops that stock poetry, and can be ordered by any that don’t, and of course direct from us.

There will be more readings soon, in the UK. watch this space!

In the meantime here’s the first review, from  London Grip

and the title poem

A GIFT OF RIVERS

Flying into Amsterdam
I see how a giant comb has pulled the hairs of the fields
into straight, wet lines, how the occasional hedge
runs on wiry feet away from the open,
how as the plane tilts
the edge of the water-land-water seems ghostly as the meniscus
an empty glass has left behind,
how the many transparent
voices of water thicken in canals
and the old windows in the city
are so like rolled water you wait for fish
to swim through their bubbles.

When I left the branches across our yard
were empty. Now small green fists
punch out space.

Thank you for your gift of rivers.

 

 

happy #lesbiandayofvisibility

It just so happens that today is Lesbian Day of Visibility. What a great day to be publishing Kate Foley‘s new poetry collection, A Gift of Rivers.

A Gift of Rivers charts meeting, marriage and migration, in an extended love letter to Kate’s wife Tonnie.

Kate Foley with Tonnie at the Amsterdam launch of The Don’t Touch Garden

Now, I didn’t know that today was Lesbian Day of Visibility when I planned the publication date, sometimes things just happen like that. But why not get visible in your local bookshop by going in and asking for this lovely book?

Although I am wearing my A Gift of Rivers T-shirt to celebrate, there are no events planned for today, having already done a reading at Gay’s the Word

(more videos available on YouTube!)

and the launch is 1st May 7pm at Waterstone’s Amsterdam. Everyone welcome.

Other readings in the UK are in the offing and details will follow shortly.

Happy publication day, Kate!

Year of the woman

Today is International Women’s Day, in the centenary year of partial suffrage for women.

So an important day for women, but, you know, women are women every day, and there’s still plenty of work to be done, on all sorts of fronts, so celebrate and then roll up your sleeves…

Our small contribution is to do what we do anyway, but do more of it. We are publishing a number of books over the next nine months and most (not all) will be by women.

April
Kate Foley Poetry Collection: A Gift of Rivers

Kate is reading from the collection at Gay’s the Word on 5th April and we are investigating a launch in Amsterdam.

May
Cathy Bryant Poetry Collection: Erratics.

Cathy and Kate are taking part in a seminar on diversity and inclusivity in the poetry world at London Book Fair on 10th April at 17:30 at the ‘Poet’s Corner’

June
The final installment of The Naming of Brook Storyteller: Wolftalker arrives from Ghillian Potts.


Also in June we have the official launch of Dusk which will also kick off thinking about 2018’s Solstice Shorts festival, Dawn!

July Five by Five: 5 short stories each by Katy Darby, Joan Taylor-Rowan, Cassandra Passarelli, Sarah James, Helen Morris

August
We are teaming up with Liars’ League for our official #womensvote100 anthology, We/She featuring stories about women by women. Final line up yet to be finalised but expect stories from:
Carolyn Eden, Katy Darby, Elizabeth Hopkinson, Elisabeth Simon, Elizabeth Stott, Fiona Salter, Ilora Choudhury, J. A. Hopper, Arike Oke, Jennifer Rickard, Jenny Ramsay, Lucy Ribchester, Peng Shepherd, Rosalind Stopps, Joanne L. M. Williams, Swati Khurana, Uschi Gatward.

September
Vindication: an anthology of up to 10 poems each from
Sarah James, Sarah Lawson, Jill Sharp, Elinor Brooks, Adrienne Silcock and Anne Macaulay

November
We are commemorating the end of WWI with poetry and short story anthology An Outbreak of Peace.

 

Coming Soon: A Gift of Rivers

The moment the book becomes ‘real’ for me as the publisher, is when I hold the ‘running sheets’ in my hand. These are an actual print of the book, unbound, sent from the printer for quality control purposes.

That’s the point I start gearing up for publicity and all that jazz.

As on this occasion the arrival of the running sheets has coincided with the last week of LGBT History Month, it is appropriate that the book in question is Kate Foley’s love letter to her wife, A Gift of Rivers.

Kate has to be in Amsterdam when the book is due out, so there will be a pre-publication ‘launch’ on 5th April at the lovely Gay’s the Word. Everyone welcome.Books will actually be available from us, by the end of March so feel free to preorder.

And Kate will also be speaking at the London Book Fair Poetry Collective at 17.30 on Tuesday 10th April.

We are looking at whether we can have an official launch-day party in Amsterdam on 26th April!

REVIEWERS If you would like a copy please get in touch.

 

National Poetry Day: special Announcements – planned books

Hello poetry lovers.

To celebrate National Poetry Day we have a special offer, some events and an announcement or three.

For today only our anthology of long narrative poems  The Other Side of Sleep is on offer at £5 (reduced from £9.99) if bought direct from us online

If you are at Free Verse Poetry Book Fair on Saturday at Conway Hall come and say hello – we have a stall, and are reading at 4.30 in the Garden Cafe on Red Lion Square (Lisa Kelly, Math Jones, Sarah James and Jeremy Dixon)

or the BBC’s Strong Language Festival in Hull (drop by the pop up poetry bookshop today through to Sunday)

You can get a copy of TOSOS for £5 if bought with another Arachne Press Poetry Book at either event.

Looking forward, we have been inviting people whose work we have published in anthologies like TOSOS, to send us their collections.

Quite a few people have, and at the moment we have agreement, in principle, to publish the following

2018

Kate Foley A Gift of Rivers (definite, April)

 

Cathy Bryant The Colour of Not Knowing

2019

Math Jones

The Knotsman

Jeremy Dixon In Retail

We are still toying with the idea of what I think of as a ‘short fat anthology’ – maximum of 5 poets, multiple poems from each – this is aimed at emerging poet who haven’t got enough work for a collection yet – so exciting new voices on the cusp of greatness!

 

Sounds of Arachne – support our crowd fund

We don’t just do print! We now have Audio books – well, one.

Pledge £5 or more in our crowd fund to raise cash for DUSK and receive The Don’t Touch Garden Audio book – poems written and read by Kate Foley

Our first audio book, hot off the mixing desk, not available in shops until January. Available as a downloadable MP3.

Or if music is more your thing, Pledge £12 or more to receive a Ticket to Ride CD  from Vocal Chords Choir, our regular collaborators on Solstice Shorts, singing songs with a travel theme. There is only ONE of these available

#Arachne5 lullabies, gardens and elephants

More videos from the 5th anniversary party

Summer All Year Long and Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd with contrasting lullabies to introduce Kate Foley’s reading from The Don’t Touch Garden

The Don’t Touch Garden Audio Book

To celebrate our 5th anniversary, our first ever audio book. Available to download from our web shop from Friday 8th September £5.

In the (on-line) shops end of January 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Foley’s poetry collection, The Don’t Touch Garden.

Here’s the introduction to give you a flavour.

Drawn from poems written over several years, this book’s dizzying ambition is to plot a path through the life of an adopted child. Foley does so with consummate skill, creating poetic forms to encompass the experiences of the child, her birth mother, her adoptive parents, aunts and midwives. Foley’s language is imagistic, fragmentary, full of jump-cuts, yet always vigorously carried forward through a set of clear-speaking voices to show us that the “DNA of years” is just as formative as that “tangle of parental DNA” we are each born with. There is suffering and lies, grief, distance and disappointment, but her message is ultimately an optimistic one: blood is not thicker than water; we are each of us, to a large extent, creators of ourselves, parents of ourselves. Brilliantly focused and carefully sequenced, these poems provide a thrilling and moving account of the processes by which any of us – adopted or not – become who we are.

Martyn Crucefix

These poems are an absorbing account of the legacy of being an adopted child. With language at once forthright and tender, this moving sequence reflects Foley’s unflinching gaze into the mirror in a sometimes excoriating attempt to discern traces of her belonging, and to make peace with the past. An illuminating must-read for adoptees and their parents, both biological and de facto, and for adoption workers who engage with the precarious task of arranging the exchange of one set of parents with another.

 Joy Howard. (Poet, publisher and former Fostering Services Manager).

Who would have thought it? #Arachne5

As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from Kate Foley who we published in The Other Side of Sleep, Liberty Tales and The Don’t Touch Garden

 

When Cherry first told me she was launching a new press my first (private!) reaction was….hmmmm….? How many small – or micro, as she calls it – presses are launched like massive liners every year, only to founder like a leaf on the stream of got-in-first-well-funded competitors? Good Luck! But it turned out she didn’t need luck. Her energy and commitment to finding interesting authors with a story to tell or a poem to write has led to the five-year-old toddler Arachne Press growing to a stature well beyond its years, with a list that compares with many an older, staider press.

In particular, since poetry is my bag, I am proud to be in her line-up of  vibrant and interesting poets, astonished that she used  my poem The Other Side of Sleep as title for her innovative book of (neglected) narrative poems, delighted that she has published my collection about adoption and childhood, The Don’t Touch Garden and look forward to the emergence of A Gift of Rivers in April.

That is of course after a rigorous and exhausting process of editing and the prospect of an equally wilt-making string of readings…. but hey! let me not grumble. It’s high time we poets – especially those of us who don’t have very sharp elbows and who are maybe knocking-on a bit – learned to value a publisher who cares even more about getting our work out there than sales.

So thank you Cherry and Happy Fifth Birthday Arachne.

COME to the 5th anniversary party, 8th Sept it’s free (but ticketed)  Kate is reading