Join local authors, short fiction writer Lily Peters, and poet Rob Walton, as they read from their recent Arachne Press Publications, Accidental Flowers and This Poem Here.They will talk about how their very different writing (Science Fiction and poetry) connect in their themes of navigating the personal and political through an imagined, but horribly likely, ecological disaster and an all too real pandemic, to make room for optimism for the future… and an accidental connection through allotments.
Join in with Q&A and an opportunity to write your own 100 word story including at least one of the words Survival, Renewal & Optimism – or a variant of them.
Books will be available to buy at the event – if you can’t make it, head to our shop
Thanks to our sales partners Inpress for setting up this popup bookshop and inviting us to come along.
Solstice Shorts – our annual celebration of original poetry, stories and music for the shortest day – is rapidly approaching. We asked Solstice regular, poet and writer Rob Walton to share some memories of the festival, and accompanying anthologies, from years gone by. This year’s theme is Words from the Brink – writing and music in response to the climate crisis.
Rob Walton: I count myself lucky to have been included in more than one of the Solstice Shorts books, and fortunate indeed to have had my work performed/read by others. It was a great thrill to hear ‘Words on Paper’, a story of which I’m very fond, read aloud in Carlisle. It’s a story that’s close to my heart, and I’m chuffed it was recorded for posterity and also appeared in print.
Ben Brinicombe reads Words on Paper by Rob Walton, BSL translation by Karen Edmondson
I’ve definitely enjoyed seeing some of my more, er interesting pieces reach a range of audiences – I wonder what the crowds (I’m guessing) in Lisbon and Maryport made of ‘The Dowager Duchess of Berwick-upon-Tweed May or May Be Bottling It’? I’ve written micro-fictions shorter than that title!
This year’s offering, ‘Mr King Has Decided to Pursue Other Avenues’, is inspired by a long-standing commitment to environmental change and, possibly, that time I had to leave my primary school class behind on the beach trip when I was stung by a weaver fish. These things stay lodged somewhere and appear, transformed, years later…
Read an extract from ‘Mr King Has Decided to Pursue Other Avenues’:
It was a liberal and progressive school – some would say slack and lackadaisical – and when Mr King said he wanted to stay at the beach at the end of the trip, they wished him well and happily set off without him. It was almost time for the long holiday, and when he wasn’t there to take registration the following morning they arranged temporary cover, and later replaced him with somebody younger with a similar name and the same tattooist. (Mr Prince would be pleased to get the job because Hokusai’s expertly inked The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which covered all of his back, had been very expensive. And quite painful. Also, he knew it would be a star turn on a staff night out.
Following hot on the heels of National Poetry Day, Arachne Press is delighted to announce we will be at Gloucester Poetry Festival later this month with a number of the poets we have published over the last 9 years. Join us for our showcase online to hear these poets read from their work, and a brief Q&A afterwards. Readings from (in order of appearance):
The event is free, but ticketed. You can register here. If you can only use a voice line to dial in, please see the Gloucester Poetry Festival page for this event (scroll to the bottom of the page), here.
to celebrate we have bundles of 3 books by the authors available until just after the event – take a look
To conclude our #LoveAudio blog series, here is an extract from the remarkable poetry collection, This Poem Hereby Rob Walton.
Arachne Press Director, Cherry Potts, recently said of This Poem Here: “At the start of lockdown, Rob Walton was responding to the anxieties and absurdities of the Corona Virus crisis by writing poetry. He published a lot of these poems on social media, as real-time responses to the latest news. Watching and enjoying them from afar, I approached Rob to publish them as a book. We were in conversation about this project when Rob’s dad sadly died from Covid. The poems in the collection then took a radical turn, delving into rage, sorrow and grief. I can’t imagine a more appropriate collection to have published in this ‘you-couldn’t-make-it-up’ era.”
Full of tears, laughter, biting political satire and Geordie grammar, these are poems that are meant to be read aloud. Here is ‘And in Lockdown’:
You can also watch Rob Walton reading some of the collection in the video from the online launch of This Poem Here: https://youtu.be/sNijjLH4zB0 (be warned, he made many of us cry!).
#LoveAudio is the Publisher’s Association annual week-long digital celebration of audiobooks is designed to showcase the accessibility, innovation, and creativity of the format.Follow the hashtag on twitter.
Tickets are available free, or for £9 to include the book, plus a £1.30 transaction fee, but to make up for that, we will post the book to you for free.
The following day, Thursday 25th March at 7.30pm, (which is the official publication day) Rob is reading at One Year On, an online poetry event marking the anniversary of lockdown, alongside Rosie Johnston, Alex Josephy, Colin Pink and Jacqueline Saphra. This is a free event and the link can be got from the organiser Irena Hill.
The Audio book will be out a month after the physical and e-books. More news as we have it.
We could all do with some cheer in the bleak days of January, especially this year, so courtesy of Arts Council England, we are here to do just that.
We are the proud and happy recipients of a £45,000 grant from Arts Council England
This will pay for our next ten books, and (drum roll) audio books! Which means we can smack Covid on the nose by providing another way to enjoy our books without leaving home, and provide some work to actors who aren’t allowed into a theatre just now. I’m anticipating it will also be huge fun. Putting the plans together now with our audiobook partner Listening Books
Thanks to everyone who gave us their thoughts on whether this was the right way to go. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors in literature, but it’s tough to get right, and harder still to market, so the funding will also pay for …
A part-time marketing person, and a (separate) part-time admin person for a few months, so that I can concentrate on finding and supporting new writers and guest editors. We will be advertising these posts very soon. They will be remote working, so if you think that could be you, start polishing your CV, but don’t send anything until you see the advertisment please!
The books that are being supported by the ACE grant are: