On ‘Shelly Valentine’ – an excerpt from 926 Years

Shelly ValentineSo the 926 Years release officially begins with the November 2019 mail out from Sublunary Editions, on the way to subscribers now. The November letter takes a cut called ‘Shelly Valentine’ from the book I co-wrote with Kyle Coma-Thompson. Should give you an idea of the vibe of the thing and the games Kyle and I are playing. Anyway, super excited that a sliver of it is out in the world. More soon, obviously – 21 Jan 2020, to be precise.

We share the edition with ‘The Bakelite Telephone’, a piece by Imogen Reid. Good news, too, because Imogen and I have been following each other around for a while now – Gorse, 3:AM, Felt: Aesthetics of Grey, and elsewhere I’m sure. More reason to take a look.

Thanks to Josh for this one and, of course, Kyle – it’s a pleasure to be part of the monthly editions. Be sure to subscribe to Sublunary Editions to get fresh literature in your postbox every month and… buy our little book.

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On ‘Crocodilian’

Very pleased to post that my poem Crocodilian has been published in the October 2019 edition of the ever-off-centre RIC. This issue also happens to be the third (!) anniversary of the publication, and as is now customary, the anniversary comes with a theme. This time it’s the Devil and Hell, hence the subject of the poem.

Wanted to write something fun but disconcerting and which also linked back to a piece I wrote a while ago called Then God, about the daily torments of the devil.

Thanks, as usual, to S, but also congratulations on making it this far despite everything and staying true to the original vision and intentions of RIC – long may it continue.

On the occasion of the announcement of the forthcoming publication of 926 Years

926 YearsA few years ago (I’m being coy here, the internet doesn’t forget), I posted on social media my reaction to a story I’d read by Kyle Coma-Thompson, a writer from Louisville, Kentucky. The global literary community is small and beautiful, like something you’d discover on an empty beach. Kyle’s wife Marie saw the tweet, told Kyle, and Kyle emailed me to see if I wanted to read the collection the story was pulled from. Soon, Kyle was one of my favourite writers, and I was fortunate enough to be penpals with him.

Life – and literature, too – works in strange ways. Kyle and I continued our correspondence, emailing sporadically, then writing some poetry together. For fun, to keep the mind sharp, to explore ideas, to challenge – writers do these things, I guess. This turned into prose writing, trading pieces across the planet while the other slept.

In parallel to this, Joshua Rothes started Sublunary Editions, a small press which mails literature to subscribers every month, as well as chapbooks and small books. The opportunity to put something together for Joshua came up and our collaborative poetry writing suddenly seemed like training for this larger, more serious thing. We had an idea, set the rules and started writing. Soon, by some small miracle, a book-shaped thing materialised.

Now, I’m pleased to announce that 926 Years by Kyle and I will be published by Sublunary Editions on 21 January 2020. 

Of course, I’m excited and proud to have another book on the way, and reasonably soon after Letter. The work with Kyle began precisely because of the slump I was in after the work I’d put into the debut – the desire to write was extreme, but the ideas weren’t coming and it was bothering me. I was feeling drained, I should have rested, but writing is usually the thing that gives me energy. Catch twenty-two. But more than that, the work with Kyle has been thrilling – as I mentioned, Kyle is one of my favourite writers; the overriding feeling after reading ‘Spite & Malice’ was envy. I wished I’d written it. He is wise and creative and generous and holds fast to his values, so trading writing with him, waking up to his words, often being inspired and amazed and challenged, is something I will seriously treasure. It was a special way to start the day. Then we had Joshua join in on that – editing, sending cover ideas, talking literature. It almost makes no sense to me to write alone anymore.

I’ve written before on the best part of writing in the twenty-first century being the friends we make. This project just reinforces that. I hope you enjoy it.

On ‘Dead Man Poems I’

Very pleased to say some of my Dead Man poems have been published in the September 2019 issue of the ever-unorthodox RIC.

In this set, the Dead Man considers his options, regrets his recklessness and shares his wisdom. Crossing fingers that more on the Dead Man is to come…

Thanks as always to Saudamini for giving me the time and space and support to write. Especially in light of the fact that the “Related” portion of the page on RIC looks like this:

On ‘To Sing’

We'll Never Have Paris - Introduction by Andrew GallixVery pleased to have a short story titled ‘To Sing’ in We’ll Never Have Paris, a collection of writing on Paris edited by Andrew Gallix.

The collection includes some of my favourite writers, some talented folk I’ve worked with, and some friends, including Max Porter, Chris Power, Joanna Walsh, Eley Williams, Tom McCarthy, Susan Tomaselli, David Hayden, Daniela Cascella, Evan Lavender-Smith and many more. Needless to say, it’s a thrill to be a part of it.

Big thanks to Andrew for the call-up and opportunity.