Here I am again. The blog seems to be mended and I'm like a child with a new toy. The launch of Maps and Legends - Poems to Find Your Way By, a new anthology published by Nine Arches Press, took place in the new library of Birmingham, earlier this month. The anthology is edited by Jo Bell and Jane Commane and marks the fifth anniversary of Nine Arches Press. 2008 was a very big year for me, I gave birth to my twins and life was never the same. Writing poetry, however, was not at the top of my priorities then, but at the end of 2009 I was beginning to write and had also just heard of a local Midlands publisher named Nine Arches Press. A few years later and they'd published my first book and my reading - and thus my life - had been dramatically enriched by various Nine Arches publications and poets. This also included setting up the regular Shindig events in Leicester, which has meant bringing lots of fabulous poets to the Midlands and regular contact with Jane Commane. Jane has always been extremely modest about her successes with Nine Arches and is to my mind one of the key editors out there in contemporary poetry. There are some very exciting publications from the press to look forward to in 2014, but back to the anthology.
At the launch we were treated to some very fine readings from Nine Arches poets. It was great to hear Angela France's 'Canzone: Cunning' poem, 'Oh, woman / your grin seeded such an itch in my bones' as well as work from Matt Merritt, David Morley, Daniel Sluman, Roz Goddard and Myra Connell. The event was compered by Jo Bell, who many poetry lovers will have heard of and she brought a great deal of energy to proceedings. I have a few poems in the anthology myself, including a certain poem about a certain poet called Larkin. I've been reading the book over the last few weeks and though much of the work is familiar to me, the poems gathered together feel fresh and inventive in the context of the anthology. In addition to the readers listed above there is some great poetry by Claire Crowther, Peter Carpenter, Alistair Noon, Luke Kennard, Tony Williams, really I could go on. Obviously I'd recommend this book, but if you're interested in contemporary poetry you will not be disappointed! Oh yes and details of how to get hold of the book are available here.
|L-R Roz Goddard, Angela France, Deborah Tyler-Bennett, Myra Connell, Jane, Commane, Matt Merritt, Jo Bell, Daniel Sluman and yours truly.|