Just thought I’d blog about a couple of things happening in March. It’s an exciting month for me, with two publications I’ve been working towards for some time.
The first is Caasha Luul Mohamad Yusuf’s chapbook, published by the Poetry Translation Centre. I’ll be reading my translations at the launch on International Womens’ Day (March 8th) at the Rada cafe – it’s free but you need to book a ticket on the PTC website here. If you’ve never heard Somalian poetry you should try to come along – it’s brilliant ‘performance poetry’, meant to be read aloud. With all the terrible news about Somalia at the moment its important to support brave and defiant voices like Caasha’s.
I’m also very pleased to have a long essay, ‘Frederick Seidel and the Impossibility of Goodness’, published in Dark Horse 28 which comes out in March. It’s a year since I first met Gerry Cambridge, the Horse’s brilliant editor, and I’m very grateful that he came up with the idea of me reviewing Seidel’s Collected Poems.
I wrestled with Seidel’s exasperating, witty, vicious, dazzling poems all summer, and ended up with the sense that he’s our greatest living poet – a truth-teller for our globalised, consumerist society and a misread moralist. Do check out The Dark Horse if you haven’t already – I think it probably has the best essays of any poetry magazine around (and it definitely has the best fonts).
In other news, I’ve just finished mentoring a wonderful group of poets in Newcastle for the Poetry School and New Writing North. They were the kind of workshops that make me glad to teach – lovely people, each with their own distinct voice, and lots of experimentation and fun. We’re hoping the workshops are just the start, with talks of readings and a magazine (potentially called ‘Butcher’s Dog’ after the Geordie phrase ‘fit as a butcher’s dog’, meaning gorgeous). In the meantime, I’d suggest you look out for Sophie F Baker, Degna Stone, Wendy Heath, Amy Mackelden, Jake Campbell, Luke Allan and Andrew Sclater (click on their names to read further…)
And thanks to all those who’ve bought The Discoveries of Delilah Dark. I’ve been trying to promote the book on the internet – do follow my children’s fiction alter-ego Evie Glass on twitter. I’d also be very grateful to anyone who could give me my first Amazon review! Anyway, the whole process has been so enjoyable that I’ve already begun Delilah Dark part 2. BigCorp are up to their evil tricks again, and this time it involves a show called Global Pop Puppet and Infinite Quest, the computer game so addictive it can literally be the death of you…