31 December 2021

Looking back, looking forward

Oooh it's the last day of 2021, so let's round up the bit since we posted our last missive on 19 October, shall we? As anticipated, I performed at Verbose, on the open mic, and at Sophie Herxheimer's Index launch with zimZalla, and then I was invited to perform again at Verbose, this time as a headliner, at the festive powwow in mid December; other headline duties went to Dave Haslam, reading extracts from his Art Decades series of books out with Didsbury indie Confingo Publishing. Despite knackering my back by having a fall (I'm officially old as of last week), I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Beatification, which has been resurrected by the legendary John G Hall at Fuel in Withington. For all these various appearances, I've been trying to read different stuff, so as not to bore any recurring audience members, and this has worked out quite nicely (and even made me write afresh or adapt pieces) and has seen some very lovely comments, for which I am really pleased and indeed honoured and also rather humbled. It's been amazing to receive positive feedback on the new direction I've decided to take and stick with and keep chipping away at, and from people who themselves create great work using lots of different approaches and inspirations. I've also been delighted by a couple of recent emails accepting my applications to contribute to happenings in the new year – one is currently under wraps, but the first I can tell you about is appearing in the Manchester Open 2022 exhibition at HOME, with a visual poem that can be viewed as well as read. Here are the dates (all being well): preview weekend: Fri 21 Jan–Sun 23 Jan 2022; exhibition: Mon 24 Jan–Sun 27 Mar 2022. I've also had my story The Lookout nominated by the editors of Splonk ("the Irish for flash") for the Best Microfiction 2022 anthology, so fingers crossed for that, and more on the other project soon...

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