Claire Booker reads at virtual launch of Time and Tide

Here is Claire Booker’s launch video tidied up a bit.

We’re still here and have plans to entertain you

There’s been some bad news in the book world, Gardners, the major wholesaler who supplies most independant booksellers has shut up shop for the forseeable. (Yes, this is C-19 related.)

This means it will be even harder to get books out to the public. We are however in the fortunate position of having the estimable NBNi as our distributor, which means bookshops can get books direct from them, if they have an account. All the big shops and quite a few of the smaller ones do. Phew!

WE ALSO HAVE BOOKS HERE.

Not in massive quantities, but enough to see us through of most titles. Yo can order direct and we will post them out to you, so long as they will fit through the post box slot, and so long as you have a large enough letter box. A couple of books might not suit – Outcome is probably ok, The Dowry Blade probably not.

Head over to our shop…

If for any reason our stocks dry up, or the royal mail goes into meltdown, we have ebooks available from your usual supplier, some reduced to 99p for the duration of the lockdown, and we are converting the poetry, which wasn’t converted before for format reasons, the first of these titles will be available 10th April with more on 17th and the last lot, the ones I think will be most difficult to work with electronically, on the 24th.

In the meantime we are working out ways to keep you happy.

We are organising some guest blogs from our writers, and some of them have offered to video readings. We are also getting them to interview each other. Some of these interviews will be video links (when I work out how) and some will be text based, but if you’ve always wanted to ask onr of our writers a question, we invite you to send some in! If there’s a particular author or poet you want to answer the question, let us know, and we’ll do our best. You can comment on this post to ask your question.

 

Inspired by Lady Hale – a Spider anthology for our eighth anniversary

Inspired by Lady Hale I’ve been buying spider brooches (and that T-shirt that’s also supporting Shelter), like a mad thing, and then I thought…

Next August (8th Month) is Arachne Press’s 8th anniversary. What about an eight-legged arachnid inspired anthology?

Get writing, I’ll put a proper call out later in the week but maybe 2000 words-ish, deadline January-ish.

I’m going to make it difficult for you – NO Horror, NO spiders to be killed.

Think Charlotte’s Web for adults, not Arachnophobia. Some sort of homeless connection too? More when I’ve had time to consider properly.

I’ve resisted the temptation to use a close-up photo of a spider here. Imagine one.

 

Solstice Shorts line up for London

Our London line up:

 Stories

A Vampire at Noon, Patience Mackarness
High Noon, Marka Rifat
Toast Crumbs, Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Under the L, Liam Hogan

Poems
An Autumn Noon, Ian Grosz
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students, Mandy Macdonald
I am not Beautiful at Noon, Elinor Brooks
Mad Dogs and English Men, Laila Sumpton
Noon Son, Alison Lock
Precarious, Michelle Penn
Still No Name, Marika Josef

FREE TICKETS from Eventbrite

Performers Marika Josef and Michelle Penn will read their  own poems, and the excellent Carrie Cohen and Grace Cookey-Gam will be helping us out with work by authors who can’t be there in person.

Music will be provided by regular Solstice collaborators Ian Kennedy and Sarah Lloyd.

Solstice Shorts Festival SHORTLIST for NOON

Here is the shortlist for Solstice Shorts Festival:

Poems

A Change in the Weather, Colin Dardis
After Hours, Stuart McKenzie
An Autumn Noon, Ian Grosz
Angelus At Noon, Patricia McCaw
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students, Mandy Macdonald
By the Obelisk Sundial Drummond Castle, Jane Aldous
Farewell My Father, Anne Bevan
Fire at Midday, Susan Cartwright-Smith
High Summer at Fionnphort Bay, Seth Crook
I am not Beautiful at Noon, Elinor Brooks
Mad Dogs and English Men, Laila Sumpton
Moon Jellyfish, Vanessa OwenNoon Son, Alison Lock
Noon Talk, Graham Burchell
On the First Calculation of the Circumference of the Earth, Alison Gerhard
Pocket Watch, Catriona Yule
Precarious, Michelle Penn
Ravens At Noon, Paul Waring
Still No Name, Marika Josef
Sun Beats over New Orleans, Natalie Gasper
The Mind is Made to Drink the Sun, Edward Venning
The Sun Suspended, Derek Crook
Twelve o’Clock From The House, Nicholas McGaughey
Unleashed, Paul Foy
Winter Ritual, Sara Elgerot
Winter Solstice, Gareth Culshaw

Stories

#Noon, Su Yin Yap
A Vampire At Noon, Patience Mackarness
Always Noon, James Woolf
And The Phone Went Tick Tock, Ian Richardson
Dinnertime Dance, Cindy George
High Noon, Marka Rifat
Mother And Child, Barbara Renel
Mother Hand, Karen Ankers
Jackdaw, Elaine Hughes
Noon Child Unknown, Diana Powell
On Kings And Falling, Roppotucha Greenberg
Toast Crumbs, Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Under The L, Liam Hogan
Up On The Roof, Lily Peters
Veranda, Clare Shaw

Our regional organisers are now picking their set lists which will create our finalists. There is always the possibility, with some venues having performers to read on behalf of the writer, that some work could be performed at more than event on 21st December. We hope to be able to announce the final list of stories and poems soon, but definitely within the next fortnight.

Mental Health Awareness Week

In case you wondered, our writers and other collaborators are always welcome to talk about their mental health or lack of it with us at Arachne. Mental Health is an important issue too readily ignored. (An organisation I once worked for were doing risk assessments, and put ‘stress’ on the list because
people might make mistakes if they are stressed.
The head of HR and I both rose up and said very loudly, more or less in chorus,
no, stress is a risk in itself.
We didn’t win that one, I like to think that these days we would.

This week we are publishing Erratics a collection of poems by Cathy Bryant, who has several disabilities including ones that affect her mental health.

Here’s a suitable poem for this week that addresses an old chestnut:

Seeing the Glass as Half-full or Half-empty
Cathy Bryant

There are many other possibilities.
The busy homeworker sees more washing up to do.
The cat sees something to knock over.
The lovers see something to share.
The conspiracy theorist sees that the water was drugged,
and the glass had a gun and was on the grassy knoll.
The racist believes that the glass will be stolen by immigrants.
The tv presenter sees (whether it’s there or not) his reflection.
We depressives see something
that we’ll no doubt drop, spill and break.
The musician flicks the note E. Ping!
The child sees a drink, or water for paintbrushes.
The surrealist sees that the glass is made of political bananas.

copyright Cathy Bryant/ Arachne Press 2018

An Outbreak of Peace contributors announced

Subject to confirmation from the writers, issuing of contracts and so on, we have the line-up for An Outbreak of Peace, our anthology responding to the centenary of the ending of WWI, which will be published in November.

They are:

Ellery Akers
Karen Ankers
Annelise Balsamo
Valerie Bence
Anne Bevan
Elinor Brooks
Katy Darby
Peter DeVille
Sarah Deckro
CB Droege
Ken Farrell
Corie Feiner
Norman Franke
David Guy
Chantal Heaven
Anwar jaber
Steven Jackson
Peter Kenny
Peter Shaver
Julie Laing
Katy Lee
Gerald McCarthy
Nicholas McGaughey
Nina Murray
Ness Owen
Clare Owen
Lily Peters
Nick Rawlinson
Rebecca Skipwith
Lucy Smith
Sarah Tait
James Toupin
Rob Walton
Nick Westerman
Martin Willitts, Jr
Mantz Yorke

We have an eclectic mix of poems and short stories some of which deal with WWI, some with the ending of other wars, and some not about war at all, as such, which is as it should be.

Announcement: SHORTLISTED POEMS for DUSK

In alphabetical order by poet’s first name…

Alannah Egan, I Am Dusk
Alice Tarbuck, Decoration of a Fermented Season
Alison Lock, Crow Haibun
Aziz Dixon, A Calligraphy Of Starlings
Bridie Toft, Arrival
Carl Griffin, Sea Wedding
Eileen Carney Hulme, Blue Hour
Elinor Brooks, Spelling the Dusk
Gabrielle Choo, Sundown Breath
Jane Aldous, After the Sun, Before the Stars
Jeremy Dixon, Driving To Blackpool to Visit My Sister
Jill Sharp, The Dogs Of Delhi
John Bevan, Afterglow
Joy Howard, Factory
K Wise, Tempus Erat
Katie Evans, 16:30
Katy Lee,  Red Coat, Wolf, etc
Kelly Davis, Calling Them In
L Reid, Summer Evening
Laila Sumpton, Starling Time
Lisa Kelly, Match Girl
Lizzie Parker, Dhusarah
Mandy Macdonald, The Gloaming
Martyn Crucefix, Summers Ended In Sweetness
Michelle Penn, End Of Ramadan
Ness Owen, Female Blackbird Sings
Nicholas McGaughey, Magic Hour
Nigel Hutchinson, Sometimes a Black Cloud
Paul Deaton, Brunel’s Bridge
Roselle Angwin, The Standstill
Rosemary Appleton, Going Out
Stevie Krayer, Sleeping out
Sue Birchenough, Roost
Sue Johnson, The Shortest Day

What does short listing mean?
Every regional organiser has read everything, and chosen a long list that they would have performed at their site, if there were enough time.
Sadly that isn’t going to be possible, we’d need twice as long, so they will be picking their final performance list (where they haven’t already) based on timing and not having poems that are too similar in tone; there were quite a few thematic things going on, particularly with birds.

We are aiming to announce the final line up on 1st December.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Longlisted Poems for DUSK

Finally, after much discussion and re-reading we have a long list of poems.

(Thank you, Ness Owen, Phil Baarda and Yvonne Battle-Felton for the hours of work.)

Alphabetically by poem title:

16:30, Katie Evans
A Calligraphy of Starlings, Aziz Dixon
A Fatality at Wandsworth, Jill Sharp
After the Sun, Before the Stars, Jane Aldous
Afterglow, John Bevan
All This, John Richardson
Arrival, Bridie Toft
Between, Lindsay Reid
Blue Hour, Eileen Carney Hulme
Brunel’s Bridge, Paul Deaton
Calling Them In, Kelly Davis
Corn Dolly, Steven Jackson
Crow Haibun, Alison Lock
Decoration of a Fermented Season, Alice Tarbuck
Dhusarah, Lizzie Parker
Driving to Blackpool to Visit my Sister, Jeremy Dixon
Dusk in Drury Lane, Sarah James
End Of Ramadan, Michelle Penn
Factory, Joy Howard
Fall, Julian Bishop
Female Blackbird Sings, Vanessa Owen
Going Out, Rosemary Appleton
I Am Dusk, Alannah Egan
In-Between Light, Christine Webb
l’Heure Bleue, Angela Kirby
Lingering Light, Bethan Rees
Magic Hour, Nicholas McGaughey
Match Girl, Lisa Kelly
Red Coat, Wolf, etc., Katy Lee
Roost, Sue Birchenough
Sleeping Out, Stevie Krayer
Sometimes a Black Cloud, Nigel Hutchinson
Sleeping Out Stevie Krayer
Spelling the Dusk, Elinor Brooks
Starling Time, Laila Sumpton
Summer Evening L Reid
Summers Ended In Sweetness, Martyn Crucefix
Sundown Breath, Gabrielle Choo
Tempus Erat, K Wise
The Dogs of Delhi, Jill Sharp
The Gloaming, Mandy Macdonald
The Sea’s Wedding, Carl Griffin
The Shortest Day, Sue Johnson
The Standstill, Roselle Angwin
Walking Home on the Shortest Day of the Year, Janice Dempsey

We will short-list as fast as we can!

The Story Sessions: Retelling Tales – poems – audio

The poems not caught on camera…

Joy Howard‘s Melangell and the Hare,

Olympus Inc  and Living to Tell the Tale (explicit language warning!)

All these and more available in Foraging

and Zoe Brigley Thompson‘s Letter to Leda on Getting Married

all read by Cherry Potts