Joy//Us LGBTQ+ Poetry Anthology… Submit

Arachne Press has long been a champion of LGBTQ+ writers, but we’ve never before published an anthology of LGBTQ+ poetry. That is all about to change. The title of our forthcoming book is Joy//Us, because we want to publish your joyful poems, ones that celebrate all that is best about our community/ies and lives. This is not an ‘explain it to the straights’ book, this is for us. We want LGBTQ+ readers to be able to open the book at random and find a moment of poetic queer joy for themselves, however big or small.
Spurred on by the success of his Wales Book of the Year 2022 Poetry Award winning book, A Voice Coming From Then, we asked poet Jeremy Dixon to join Arachne Press editor Cherry Potts in editing this anthology.
This is a call for poetry by LGBTQ+ poets, for LGBTQ+ readers. If you don’t identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, then please do not submit. We are not looking for sexually explicit or derogatory poetry. Nor are we looking for poems about trauma or distress (we recognise it is out there and needs writing about, but this is not that book).
Send us your unpublished poems, in English (or Welsh, with a translation*). This is a UK/Republic of Ireland only call, but within that, we want to see as many submissions from poets from the global majority as want to be published by us. Send us up to 5 poems – we will consider a maximum of 3 for publication. Poems can be any length, but think first, do you really need all those words? Send us your best!
Submissions are open from 1 February 2023 (for the start of LGBT History Month) until 11 October 2023 (National Coming Out Day) and will only be accepted through Submittable.
The book will be published to coincide with IDAHOBIT on 17 May 2024.
*The poet must submit their work, not the translator, so if you have not translated your own work, the translator must give permission, and must be credited.
 

Arachne 10th Anniversary – the Authors – a short series part 2

I thought it would be useful to give you all a bit more detail about the authors who have put together our amazing, eclectic anniversary events.

Our second saturday, and we have two events.

First at 11am we have Tales of Transformation: Bisclavret presented by Elizabeth Hopkinson.

Elizabeth Hopkinson

We’ve published  Elizabeth in our 2018 women only Liars’ League anthology We/She and our 2019 Solstice Shorts anthology Time and Tide, and our 8th anniversary anthology No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book.
Outside Arachne publications, Elizabeth has written loads of stories which have been published in anthologies and magazines. More recently she has published three books of revisionist mythology, Asexual Fairy Tales, More Asexual Fairy Tales, and Asexual Myths & Tales.

Later in the day at 3pm, we are introducing the call out for Joy//Us, an anthology of LGBTQ poetry, which will be presented by Arachne editor Cherry Potts and Poet, Jeremy Dixon who will be the co-editor; and poet Rick Dove. We publish lots of LGBTQ writers but it feels like time to actually showcase that, and give a bit of focus to the work we are creating with our LGBTQ authors and poets.

Cherry Potts

Cherry Potts (me!) is the founder/owner of Arachne Press, which she started in a fit of anger after a fall out with her then publisher (a case of I could do it better myself... which I could, but my goodness, I didn’t realise it would be such hard work). She has published an epic lesbian fantasy novel The Dowry Blade and 2 short story collections Tales Told Before Cockcrow and Mosaic of Air, and has numerous stories in anthologies and magazines.

Jeremy Dixon

Jeremy Dixon has been published by us consistently, from a single poem in our very first poetry anthology The Other Side of Sleep, and in Solstice Shorts anthology Dusk,  and our bilingual anthology A470, via three poems in Liberty Tales, to a poetry pamphlet In Retail,  to Jeremy’s first full collection, A Voice Coming From Then which we publishedin August 2021 and WON the poetry category for Wales Book of the Year English Language Poetry. Jeremy is a great supporter of Arachne, providing workshops and hand made books for our crowdfunds.

Rick Dove

Rick Dove is joining us to give an additional example of our existing cohort of LGBTQ writers. We published a poem by Rick in Where We Find Ourselves, a long three part family history, which so delighted me I went in search of a biography of Ricks Great Aunt, the first black woman to sing on the BBC!
Rick is a mixed-race, London based poet whose work draws narratives, and styles, from wide influences, always takes a keen interest in both societal and personal change, and how these cardinal forces interact as we grow. A regular performer on the London poetry scene since 2015, Rick has been published in numerous poetry zines and the national press. His first pamphlet, Haigha’s Noosphere Canticles, was published in 2017 by William Cornelius Harris Publishing, and his debut full collection Tales From the Other Box, was published by Burning Eye in 2020. In July 2021, Rick became the UK Poetry Slam Champion for 2021.

A Voice Coming from Then On Tour

This Autumn we’re taking A Voice Coming from Then on tour in Wales, to celebrate the collection winning the English Language Poetry Category in the 2022 Wales Book of the Year Awards. Join us at one of the events below for readings and conversation with poet Jeremy Dixon (and occasional guests).

Links to tickets for all the events will be updated as they become available.

COMING UP

29/11/2022 Typewronger, Edinburgh details
30/11/2022 Lighthouse Books, Edinburgh details

If you would like any more information about any of these events, please contact outreach@arachnepress.com.

CATCH VIDEOS HERE SOON FOR EVENTS THAT HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED

IN THE MEANTIME HERE’S A TASTER

05/10/2022 The Hours, Brecon
06/10/2022 (National Poetry Day)  Waterstones, Carmarthen
06/10/2022 (National Poetry Day)Waterstones, Cardiff
13/10/2022 Cardiff Central Library Hub, joint event with George Sandifer-Smith

All the events above are free.

 

Happy Birthday, A Voice Coming From Then!

Today is exactly one year since we published A Voice Coming From Then by Jeremy Dixon. Largely written and edited during lockdown, A Voice Coming From Then recently won the English-language Poetry award at the Wales Book of the Year 2022 and this has given us another chance to celebrate Jeremy and his extraordinary collection in real life.

We’re building an A Voice Coming From Then tour of Wales this Autumn, with events already planned at several libraries, independent bookshops and Waterstones stores across Wales this October and November.

If you run a bookshop, library, arts venue or poetry night, then please get in touch with us on outreach@arachnepress.com and let us know if you’d be interested in hosting an event with Jeremy Dixon as a part of this tour.

If you’re in Wales (or close by) and would like to see Jeremy reading from A Voice Coming From Then, please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the event dates and locations – coming soon!

For now, we are celebrating A Voice Coming From Then‘s book birthday with an online offer: buy a copy of the print book from our webshop and we’ll send you a code for 50% off the ebook or audiobook, which is beautifully narrated by Nigel Pilkington.

A Voice Coming From Then starts with Jeremy Dixon’s teenage suicide attempt and expands to encompass themes of bullying, queerphobia, acceptance and support.

As well as exploring identity, the tragic effects of bullying and the impact of suicide, this collection also includes unexpected typography, collage, humour, magic, discotheques and frequent appearances from the Victorian demon, Spring-heeled Jack.

One of the Wales Book of the Year judges commented: “I really admire Jeremy’s ability to be so vulnerable. I felt like he just really put his heart and his whole self into the collection.” Congratulations to Jeremy on having this immensely personal and moving collection out in the world for a whole year. 

A Voice Coming From Then shortlisted for Wales Book of the Year!

We couldn’t be more excited to share the news that A Voice Coming From Then by Jeremy Dixon is on the shortlist (of three!) for the 2022 English-language Wales Book of the Year, in the Poetry category.

We are celebrating by holding an online event with the other shortlisted poets, Angela Gardner and Abeer Ameer, on 20th July at 7pm. Get your free ticket here.

A Voice Coming From Then, which we published in August 2021, starts with poet Jeremy Dixon’s teenage suicide attempt and expands to encompass themes of bullying, queerphobia, acceptance and support.

As well as exploring identity, the tragic effects of bullying and the impact of suicide, this collection also includes unexpected typography, collage, humour, magic, discotheques and frequent appearances from the Victorian demon, Spring-heeled Jack.

 

Jeremy Dixon said: “I am beyond delighted that my collection of poems dealing with bullying, queerphobia and attempted suicide has made the shortlist of Wales Book of the Year 2022. My greatest hope throughout the difficult writing process was that the book would be understood and resonate with an audience beyond myself. For the book to have been selected by the judges is the most unexpected and welcome compliment!”

‘beyond delighted…’

The Wales Book of the Year Award is an annual prize celebrating outstanding literary talent from Wales across many genres and in both English and Welsh. Today, Friday 1 July, Literature Wales announced which books have reached the English-language Wales Book of the Year Short List 2022.

YOU can VOTE for the people’s choice from the shortlist via Wales Art Review

The winners will be announced on BBC Radio Wales on 29 July.

Congratulations Jeremy!  We are so pleased A Voice Coming From Then is getting the attention it deserves.

You can order a copy of A Voice Coming From Then from our webshop. To celebrate Jeremy’s place on the shortlist, we’ll send you a code for 50% off either the ebook or audiobook, when you order a print copy.

Any press enquiries, please email Saira Aspinall on outreach@arachnepress.com.

#Arachne10 In Retail Jeremy Dixon

Yesterday was the third anniversary of Jeremy Dixon’s first pamphlet, In Retail. to celebrate, here is a video of Jeremy reading (along with the audience) from one of the first poems from the collection that he shared with us, published in The Other Side of Sleep, and read here at our 5th anniversay celbrations!

The combination of our enthusiasm for LGBTQ writing and of this being LGBT History Month, and our wily marketing plans means there are going to be a few more LGBT posts this week.

Watch this space, for this and other anniversary news.

You can vote for your favourite poem from this collection, and others VERY soon, to help us plan the programme for our anniversary party.

IDAHOBIT 2020 Stories & Poems

Today is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

I’ve already drawn your attention to our marvellous LGBTQI writers of individual collections and novels, so I thought I’d hilight the LGBTQI short story and poetry gems nestling in our anthologies.

 

London Lies: Leaving, Cherry Potts

Stations: All Change at Canonbury, Paula Read

Lovers’ Lies: Tasting Flight, Catherine Sharpe; Mirror, Cherry Potts; Dara Jessica Lott

The Other Side of Sleep: Naming: AD 2006, Alwyn Marriage;The Other Side of Sleep, Kate Foley

Liberty Tales: Tabernacle Lane; Pearls over Shanghai; Flax, San Francisco; all by Jeremy Dixon

Solstice Shorts – Sixteen Stories about Time: Death and Other Rituals, Tannith Perry; Stars, Emma Timpany (not sure that’s what she intended, but I certainly read it that way).

Noon: Under the L, Liam Hogan

An Outbreak of Peace: Surplus Women, Rebecca Skipwith

We/She Desperately Seeking Hephaestion, Elizabeth Hopkinson; Cages, Joanne LM Williams

Departures: Alpaca Moonlight, VG Lee; Over, Joy Howard

You can buy all the books mentioned from our webshop, we will post them out to you.

If you would prefer eBooks, all these books are available from your usual retailer, now VAT free! We recommend Hive for ePub.

Happy IDAHOBIT!

 

Polari gig for In Retail

Jeremy Dixon will be reading from In Retail
at Polari on Tour,
Waterstones, 11A Union Galleries,
Broadmead Bristol, BS1 3XD.
1st June 7pm

FREE but ticketed: tickets