Sunday, 1 October 2017

In the Western Mail...


Free Verse: Poetry Book Fair 2017

Bleary eyed, on the early train to London from Cardiff, laden with books I luck out, with an old friend on board who upgrades me to First Class: 'You've a new book, you must!' and she plies me with hot tea and cold apples to energise me for the day ahead.

I'd like to say it is a glamorous life being a poet and a publisher, but the reality is that I still have the bruises on the backs of my legs from wrestling my wheelie case of my books and all the other Parthian poet books across Cardiff, on and off a train, on and off the tube to the venue. A lovely venue at that, I don't think I've ever been to






Some books were sold, mostly mine, but I still had a lot to lug back to Wales, and I was sad to miss the majority of the readings including one by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, who wrote me a lovely cover blurb, though I was delighted that she popped by the stall to see me.

 Kate Noakes with her latest Parthian-released collection Tattoo on Crow Street

Christina Thatcher with her collection More than you were which also proved popular for sales!


  The sweets were a big hit, the flying saucers ran out first... although most people picked it for nostalgia, and then remembered that often it tastes of cardboard and that's why they don't eat them any more!








Poets with Parthian collections also popped by both to visit (Kate Noakes, her next collection is out with us in 2018) and to help out so I could have a break, and a pint with Tim Wells (Christina Thatcher, thanks!). Is was great to also see Bob Walton and Amy Wack there.

And then, exhausted, I went home.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Happy National Poetry Day!

Happy National Poetry day to all the poets, poetry lovers, poet's lovers and friends and putter-upper-withs. Read poems. Buy a poet's book (cough, cough)... buy poets a drink, a meal... flowers. You know the drill by now. Enjoy xx

These arrived for me today: 




Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Cardiff Book Festival – Highlights from 2017

Always nice to be a festival highlight... 'It was also exciting to hear Susie Wild read from her book Better Houses, which has only just been published. I loved her poem inspired by the recent courgette crisis, and another called ‘Gifts like Honey’, inspired by her cat...'

Read the created to Read blog on the New Poetic Voices Showcase at Cardiff Book Festival

It certainly was a great turn out, here's the view from the front:



We followed the show with tapas and a literary disco! Three gigs down and a break from stage speaking for me...

Friday, 22 September 2017

HOWL, and I did!

When I was first properly starting out reading my poems, in places that weren't my house when nobody else was there... I was in Swansea, and I read them at an excellent new night The Crunch at my then-favourite Watering Hole Mozarts.. oh about a decade ago now. I last guest featured there 7 years ago, when my first book came out, and although it has morphed in to a new type of night HOWL, the idea is largely the same and it felt good to return to a beginning.

Somehow I managed to persuade some of my artist friends to come along and endure some talking for a bit, and also some dear old friends appeared. My ever-patient pal Helen stayed up past her bedtime to talk nonsense with me, and leant me a comfy bed so I didn't have to run home for the last train back to Cardiff.

Here's a photo that dear Kate Ronconi took:


And here are some flashback 2009 photos from The Crunch (I really need to lose my book baby weight, post-'birth'... half a stone already mind, so I'm on my way!





Abertawe Mon Amour x

I'm back on 27 October 6.30pm at Dylan's Birthplace, and 4 November 2pm at No Sign Wine Bar (my first waitress job in Swansea) as part of Do Not Go Gentle Festival. Come along! 



Thursday, 21 September 2017

Penned on the Bont

Oh, I loved last night, how wonderful to launch my new book at my dear dear friend Rhian Edwards' poetry night Penned on the Bont in Bridgend, and to share the stage with another lovely friend, my original fellow Bright Young Thing (faded jaded things as we call ourselves now!) Tyler Keevil.

A great turn out, wine, high standard of open mic and people actually bought books, the first I'd sold! It was all very exciting.

And I got my hair cut and make up done before, here's me looking dolled up and scared:



Here's me trying to vanish! Pre-gig nerves...




Excellent booksellers Julie and Tracey! Amanda and Rhian to the side... my Bridgend poetry workshop peers!



See, I told you it was a fun night, we were entertained well!



Gendered Cash Boxes! I objected ;)


Me, sweaty post-gig, in my Domestic Goddess dress!


BONUS: A proof copy gift of Tyler's new novel!







Tuesday, 19 September 2017

How to (almost) give a poet a heart attack:


1. Delay delivery of their book until day before the tour starts.
2. Make poet wait in all day giving delivery time as simply before 18:00.
3. At 15.55 park a TNT lorry outside poet's house. Do nothing for 10 minutes.
4. Do not knock on poet's door. Instead knock on her neighbour's door who is out. Then go up one house and ask that neighbour to take box.
5. As neighbour signs for box find poet standing in the street in their socks, saying in a really small voice 'Excuse me, is that box for me?' Both say 'No!'
6. Hear poet say 'B-b-but, do you have another delivery for me. I'm expecting a TNT delivery today...?'
7. Say 'No, I've nothing for you.'
8. See poet turn to neighbour and ask 'Please, can you just read out the house number on the box.'
9. See neighbour go 'oh' after reading poet's house number out.
10. Give box of books to poet.




The rest have gone to the usual places, I hope!


And breathe out!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Better Houses on Tour

'They are beautiful. Tell your friends I said you write beautiful poems. Vivid with sharp imagery and delicious phrasing.' – Salena Godden knows how to cheer a girl up on a pre-launch Sunday! I've lots of gigs coming up, do come, here's a lovely poster Torben made for me with the dates and venues (click to make bigger.)... 

At Free Verse I've just got a stall and will sign books, come to The Wheatsheaf in November for the London reading!




NEWS FLASH! 
More tour dates added, when all the details are confirmed I'll get the poster adjusted...

OCTOBER:
27 – Dylan's Birthday, The Beginning festival, Dylan's Birthplace, Swansea (Workshop and Reading)
31 – Berkeley Square Poetry Revue, Bristol, 8.30pm, £2 on the door