Since last we spoke, dear reader, I've of course been to lots of events, including reading at Virtual Verbose, when Nicholas Royle and Naomi Booth headlined, and travelling far and wide from the comfort of my own home.
I've been to a Poetry London shindig featuring Holly Pester (seen IRL some time back at Rory Cook's rather wonderful but short-lived Sunday soir salon Murmur), to a Glasgow hook-up with NYC-based Bernadette Mayer (fabulous, and a nice continual update on the snowfall in downtown), to Kendal Poetry Festival and the ever-brilliant Vahni Capildeo, to a Bad Betty launch, a Carcanet New Poetries VIII showcase, a "workshop" (more of a chat with Jerome de Groot, really) with Zaffar Kunial, to some StAnza stuff - a visual poetry talk with Chris McCabe and Astra Papachristodoulou, and the annual lecture, with Jacqueline Saphra, talking about her recent lockdown work - to Manchester's own No Matter, to another Live From The Butchery in Norfolk, featuring Jen Hadfield way up north in the Scottish islands, to an Arvon gig with Rebecca Watson (whose little scratch I'm about to embark upon reading), to a Welsh innovative poetry evening from Sheffield's Centre for Poetry and Poetics and Blackbox Manifold, featuring Lyndon Davies among others, to Poets & Players' first foray into the online event world (love their Reemergence prize winner Susan Shepherd's stuff), and to the Guillemot Press launch of Suzannah V Evans's new boatyard-based book Brightwork, also with a reading from Eleanor Rees, who spoke of the Red Rocks on the Wirral. How lovely!
My own Hilbre Island flash fiction found a home this month in the Irish e-zine Splonk (there's also an interview with a certain David Gaffney in there) and I've had some more pieces published, mostly poetry, which is all very exciting and encouraging. I have a piece in Poetry Scotland magazine, another (a 'Daily Permissible Exercises') with Osmosis Press and another pinned on the Litfest Places Of Poetry map here. Upcoming, my collaboration with Jazmine Linklater is coming out in the PN Review OuLiPo supplement, edited by Philip Terry, and I have a concrete poem in the Summer 2021 issue of Firmament from Sublunary Editions and an experimental piece in this week's instalment of PERVERSE. I'm reading next week at an event launching a Joan Eardley centenary anthology project organised by Colin Herd and Sam Small (more here) and on 8 July at this year's European Poetry Festival, organised by SJ Fowler, and for which I've arranged to hook up with Lydia Unsworth, whose recent lipograms I've been enjoying, along with loads of her previous work.
I've managed to do some more 'Daily Permissible Exercises', a year on from the first time, and I've written a few things for specific deadlines and invitations. Nonetheless, I've been feeling that I've not done enough writing (I suddenly got inundated with freelance work, including proofreading a book about French châteaux and writing copy for an annual report on climate change targets), but I aim to change that, having an upcoming rest from work for a week or perhaps a little longer booked into my diary. Phew. I'd fix the fonts in this post, but I have to go out and drink wine and show off my new haircut. I'm sorry.