Lesbian Visibility Week

Phew, a bit late in the week, but let’s fly the flag here, before I go back to the emergecy fund application to ACE, refreshed with reminding myself why I do this.

We publish everyone. (Except people who aren’t writers, obviously).

But my first publications as a writer were with a lesbian press, and while we aren’t a lesbian press we are a lesbian-owned press, and we can still use that visibility.

So in celebration, here are our lesbian authors and poets, together with the books they are in, all of which are available from us direct, and from intrepid bookshops, and as ebooks from your usual supplier. There are probably more, but if they don’t tell me, I can’t celebrate them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lockdown Interviews No2 Sarah James interviews Jane Aldous

Second in a series of author-to-author interviews to distract them, and you, from lockdown torpor.

Sarah James

Sarah James

Sarah James (Vindication, Shortest Day Longest Night) aka S.A.Leavesey interviews fellow poet, Jane Aldous (Let Out the Djinn, Noon, An Outbreak of Peace, Time and Tide, Dusk)

Jane aldous

Jane Aldous

Sarah:   What are the main motivations and influences for your writing?

Jane:     Like you, I started writing very early in life, having been influenced and inspired by diverse writers such as Shakespeare, Brecht, Patten, Keats. I write because it feels like the best form of play I can think of. No-one tells me to do it, it’s just down to me. But writing is also the hardest thing I choose to do, and it gives me huge pleasure and pain!
My influences these days are many and varied and include many poets and writers whose books are crammed onto my bookshelves including Kathleen Jamie, Jacob Polley, Elizabeth Bishop, Robin Robertson, Tomas Transtromer and Tove Jansson. But I’m also influenced by nature, artists, musicians, architecture and archaeology in very eclectic and spontaneous ways.

Sarah:   What is your own favourite poem in your collection Let Out the Djinn and why?

Jane:     I think it has to be Doggerland.  Doggerland fascinates me hugely, and when I first read about this ancient land beneath the North Sea, my imagination became fired up and I knew I wanted to attempt a poem from the perspective of a hunter-gatherer, that tried to do justice to the immensity of the place and its eventual fate. There’s still more I’d like to write about Doggerland, its story is not just ancient history, there are many modern resonances too, such as climate change and mass extinctions.

Sarah:   You also have work in Time and Tide. Are water and time big themes in your poetry generally? If so, how and why do they fascinate you? If not, how did you find a way into the theme?

Jane:     I messed about in boats as a kid and when I moved up to Scotland over 30 years ago, I said I wanted to live beside the sea. Well in a way I do. Although we live in the suburbs of Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth is never far away and under normal circumstances, we go to the East Lothian coast and the NW Highlands very regularly. Water does feature in some of my poems such as Dave off in Five, With Meme on Mellon Udrigle Beach and Eel Ghazal, and whether it’s a river or loch, waterfall or incoming tide, I’m always drawn to watch. But I’m also aware of the theme of time in my poetry. Many of my poems are set in the past and are concerned with loss, love, death and memory. However, I think I made heavy weather about writing my Time and Tide poem. In fact I wrote two poems. The first based on a Clearance clachan or hamlet beside the sea in West Ardnamurchan was rejected. The second was based on a fictional character, a female ghost, who had once lived in 18th Century Leith, Edinburgh’s main port. I wrote it to accompany an embarrassingly bad film poem (quite rightly rejected). Thankfully the poem In the Shadows, on the Shore, Leith made it into the anthology.

 Sarah:  If you could change something, or learn one new thing in terms of how you work, or what you write about, what would it be and why?

Jane:     I’d love to be able to write and present a film poem. I think my best poems are the ones that began as a strong visual experience and I’d love to be able to learn about the process of making a poem come alive in a visual sense as well as on the page and in the mind.

Sarah:   What are your favourite reading, writing and performance spots?

Jane:  I love writing on our kitchen table. Although our kitchen is quite a busy space, with cooking and washing happening plus our cat bouncing around, I love it. I can look out onto the garden, listen to the radio and I’m happy!
I love reading in the kitchen too, but I also have a very comfortable chair in the lounge which is perfect for settling down with a good book.
In the summer the garden bench is a brilliant place to muse or read or write surrounded by birdsong and bumblebees.
In my very limited experience of performance, I’d say that The Lighthouse Bookshop, Edinburgh where I launched my debut collection Let out the Djinn and read at an open mic is a lovely welcoming space.

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. we recommend Hive for ePub.

 

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.

 

#IWD2020- Photos

Until I get round to editing the video files, here are some photos from Sunday’s event, where we launched Emma Lee‘s new collection, The Significance of a Dress, and thoroughly celebrated International Women’s Day with poems and flash from Laila Sumpton, Claire Booker, Sarah Lawson, Jenny Mitchell, Julie Easley, Cherry Potts, Michelle Penn, Shamini Sriskandarajah, and Emma Lee!

Announcing the contributors to our 8th Anniversary Anthology

cover design by Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

Here’s who is in the eighth anniversary spiderlit celebration, No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book

Poems from
Chris Cantu
Daisy Bassen
Elizabeth Ditty
Emma Lee
Eugene Goldin
Federica Santini
Hugh Findlay
Jennifer A McGowan
Jennifer Rood
Joanne L M Williams
Kate Foley
Mark Heathcote
Natalie Rowe
Sarah Lawson
Seth Crook
Stella Wulf
Tracy Davidson
Tricia Knoll

Stories from
Amy Rothermel
Carolyn Robertson
Claire Wearne
Daniel Olivieri
David Mathews
Elizabeth Hopkinson
Guy Russell
Helen Morris
Jackie Taylor
J. A. Hopper
Katherine Wagner
Margaret Crompton
Maria Kyle
Martha Nance
Patty Tomsky
Peter Donahue
Phoebe Demeger

All the Writers for Time and Tide

Alison Lock, Sisterhood Of The Seas: Holyhead, Maryport
Angel Warwick, We Dig The Pig: Clydebank, Greenwich, Maryport
Carl Alexandersson, Tulpaner Och Liljekonvaljer: Maryport
Christine Ritchie, Clearance: Clydebank, Holyhead, Peterhead
Claire Booker, Fisherman’s Daughter: Clydebank, Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon, Maryport; and How Women Came to Tristan da Cunha: Clydebank, Greenwich, Lisbon, Maryport, Peterhead
Elinor Brooks, Woman from North India on Bostadh Beach: Maryport, Peterhead
Elizabeth Parker, Overlord With Declan: Greenwich; and The Watchers: Clydebank, Greenwich, Maryport, Peterhead
Emma Lee, Casting A Daughter A Drift: Clydebank, Greenwich, Hastings, Holyhead; and When You Regret Wishing For Something Thrilling: Greenwich, Lisbon
Holly Blades, Delivery: Greenwich, Holyhead, Lisbon
Ian Macartney, Mother Fish: Clydebank; and Ovčice, Croatia: Peterhead
Ivonne Piper, No Tearaways: Holyhead
Jane Aldous, In The Shadows, On The Shore, Leith: Maryport, Peterhead
Jenny Mitchell, Church Mary Sounds The Sea, Clydebank, Greenwich,
JN Nucifera, City Of Water: Greenwich, Lisbon,
John Richardson, False Light: Clydebank, Greenwich, Maryport, Peterhead
Joy Howard, When Will We See The Sea: Peterhead
Julie Laing, Modality (Film): Clydebank, Greenwich
Kate Foley, Verticals: Hastings
Laura Potts, First Light: Clydebank, Greenwich, Holyhead,
Lynn White, Paddling: Maryport,
Mandy Macdonald, Frocks Of Passage: Greenwich, Maryport, Peterhead; and Half A Dozen Oranges: Clydebank, Greenwich, Lisbon
Math Jones, The nth Wave, Maryport,
Melissa Davies, Bird Wife: Clydebank, Greenwich, Maryport; Halibut: Clydebank, Greenwich, Maryport; Lookout Men: Greenwich, Lisbon, Maryport; Seaweed: Maryport; Værøy: Greenwich, Maryport
Michelle Penn, The Sinking Of Mrs Margaret Brown: Greenwich, Maryport
Ness Owen, Sea Lessons: Clydebank, Greenwich, Holyhead, Lisbon, Maryport
Nick Westerman, Napoleon: Greenwich, Maryport
Olivia Dawson Points of Interest: Clydebank, Greenwich, Hastings, Maryport, Peterhead
Philip Hewitson And Susan Cartwright-Smith, Open Water (Film): Greenwich, Maryport
Reshma Ruia, Crossing the Black Water: Clydebank, Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon
Sarah Tait, Bosun’s Locker: Maryport; and Hawser: Greenwich, Maryport, Peterhead
Savanna Evans, On A Day Like This: Greenwich, Maryport
Simon Whitfield, A Conjuring Poem: Peterhead
Thomas Tyrrell, Of Grainne Mhaol: Greenwich
Valerie Bence, Arrival: Clydebank, Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon, Maryport
Vivien Jones, I Nearly Drownded, Daddy: Greenwich, Lisbon, Maryport

Stories
Elizabeth Hopkinson, A Madras Crossing: Greenwich
Diana Powell, Ballast: Greenwich, Holyhead, Lisbon, Maryport; and Sea Change, Greenwich, Holyhead
Cathy Lennon, Casting The Stones: Lisbon
Neil Lawrence, Diaspora: Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon
Juliet Humphreys, Fisherfolk: Greenwich,
Holly Magee, Granmama’s Paradise: Lisbon
Linda McMullen, The Fisherman’s Wife: Clydebank, Hastings, Lisbon, Maryport, Peterhead
Eoghan Hughes, Herr Dressler: Hastings, Maryport,
Pauline Walker, Hingland: Greenwich
Roppotucha Greenberg, Listen, Noah’s Wife: Clydebank, Greenwich, Holyhead, Peterhead
Emily Bullock, Man Overboard: Lisbon
CB Droege, Metharme: Lisbon, Maryport
Kilmeny Macmichael, Remittance: Greenwich
Barbara Renel, The Professor’s Daughter: Hastings, Maryport
Paul Foy, The Answer, My Friend: Hastings, Lisbon, Peterhead
Rob Walton, The Dowager Duchess Of Berwick-Upon-Tweed: Lisbon, Maryport
Maria Kyle, The Surgeon’s Mate: Greenwich, Hastings
Cindy George, The Wreck Of The Kyllikki: Greenwich
Sheila Lockhart, Turquoise: Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon

Songs
Kevan Taplin, Migrants: Greenwich
Chip Wilson/London Sea Shanty Collective, Scarborough Street: Greenwich
Hopewell Ink, At Sea: Holyhead
Fiona & Gorwel Owen, Across: Holyhead
Nicola Reed, Salina’s Harbour: Maryport
John Chambers, Here and Gone: Maryport

 

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!