Poetry & Short Story readings from Julia Bird, Jane Holland, Sue Hubbard and Mark Waldron. Fill your Stockings at the Salt Book Stall. Pay Bar. Secret Santa presents for all the good boys and girls!
Friday 12th December 2008
6.30 onwards – readings at 7.30ish and 8.30ish
The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury,
London WC1N 1HX
Julia Bird in her debut collection, there is a poem called "Five Years Trying to Win the Flower Show Vegetable Animal Class". Entries include an aubergine bird of paradise, and a potato humpback whale with "eyes for a blowhole, and also for eyes". Like her speaker's perennially highly commended sculptures, Julia Bird's poetry dismantles the everyday and builds it into new shapes. (New Statesman)
Jane Holland's new collection, Camper Van Blues, is a book of journeys, both real and imaginary. The title sequence is a British road movie told through poems, one woman and her dog alone in a camper van, each jump-cut taking the reader further into the interior of an addictive, self-destructive personality. In a sequence of brief and highly visual poems, Holland explores a midnight landscape of motorways, truck stops and lay-bys, touching by turns on the issues of loneliness, drug abuse and living with depression.
From Sue Hubbard's new short story collection Rothko's Red … 'Belle's apartment was above a Chinese restaurant on the Lower East Side, a tiny oriental island in the once largely Jewish neighbourhood. Whilst some of the old sweat shops and tenement buildings with their heavy iron fire escapes had been taken over by young artists, or turned into Tarot reading or tattoo parlours, there was nothing hip about The Lotus Garden with its murky interior, its cheap red lanterns and lurid gilt frames containing dayglo Chinese dragons. The stairway leading from the side door up to Belle's apartment smelt of cats and boiled washing. The visit had been a sudden decision. When the Christmas card with the snow-laden pine branches had arrived, Maggie had, on the spur of the moment, phoned Belle. She needed to get away, put some distance between the sense of rejection and confusion Adam's leaving had stirred in her, and Belle had seemed genuinely pleased …'
"Mark Waldron's poems are generally short, crisp and lyrical, but they are driven by a phantasmagoria of garrulous creatures, spectres and shapeshifters, alter egos and alluring women." (Roddy Lumsden)
This is, I suppose, the official launch of Camper Van Blues, though the book's been on sale a month or so now and I've read from it at various events.
For this Christmas Party launch though, I'll be reading sometime between 7.30pm and 8pm, for those who may be thinking of coming along and would like to catch me 'in the act', as it were. Signed copies will be available!