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Joy Ride

Joy Ride illustrationA few people have been asking WHERE you can get Jessica Mookherjee’s “Joy Ride” chapbook from, so I’ve decided to blog here and share it to Twitter, rather than just post to our facebook page.

To buy this, or any of the BLERoom product, you have to email me at theblacklightenginedriver@hotmail.co.uk – this is the email for the Press, as well as the PayPal address should you wish to buy it. The price is £7 inc p&p within the Uk, or £10 for Europe.

We don’t have a website, because a) I haven’t got the money to pay someone to do it, and b) because I haven’t the patience to learn myself. What little money we have goes into producing great looking chapbooks, with the help of people like the artist Jane Burn, whose illustrations adorn all of the Incidental Poetry Series.

The postal address is 12 Harrogate Crescent, Middlesbrough. TS5 6PS. Any cheques should be addressed to M. Johnson.

Merry Christmas y’all & I hope to see some of you at the Poetry Society Cafe on the 12th January, where we’re having the official launch of Jessica’s chapbook, and that of Neil Elder.

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Winding things down…a little…

2017…been a very good year for the most part. Had a really bad turn in July, which ended with me cutting back on a lot of work while my head got better. By the year’s end I will have published 14 chapbooks & one magazine.

My funding finishes at the end of May, and the plan was to publish 2 more chapbooks at the beginning of 2018, and then take it easy while I figure out where to get some more money from.  Or that was the plan til last week, when I came up with the idea of a “Co-Incidental”, which would feature 4 poets, giving each 5 pages each.

The 1st Co-Incidental will launch in March/April and feature the following poets: Martin Malone, Jane Burn, p.a. morbid & Fran Lock. As with the regular Incidental series it will retail for £5, but will not have the artwork by Jane that has made the Incidentals so brilliant. I’m hoping they’ll prove as popular despite that.

I’m still winding down as much as possible, because I have a few Local History projects that need my attention, and its been a full-on year as far as focusing on the Press has been.

I’ve also started working with my old band Killy Dog Box, link below if you’re brave. We’ve recorded a cd single and are launching it this Saturday in Middlesbrough…

 

Incidentals, a Call-Out!

This will be our last call-out for this year, so please pay attention, as I won’t be repeating this. Well, its on a blog, so I won’t have to repeat it. Stop nitpicking and read the bloody submissions guidelines already!

INCIDENTAL POETRY SERIES

These are a5 chapbooks featuring 20 pages (sides) of poetry. The covers are all blue – see the original Incidentals post on this blog – and have a frontispiece drawn by Jane Burn. If you would like to be considered for this series – as of today there 11, with a further 5 due before the end of June – then you must follow the submissions guidelines EXACTLY.

All submissions must come by post – we will accept no email subs. Your sub should be on a4 paper, Times New Roman 11.point & No Spacing. Each sub should have your name, short biog & email. There should be a sheet with the title/contents.

If chosen you will receive 5 contributor’s copies, and the chance to buy extra copies at a reduced rate. You will be expected to promote the chapbook with – preferably – a launch in Middlesbrough, or a similar event in your home town/locality. We can’t afford to pay you to come to Middlesbrough, but we will house and feed you for the night.

INCIDENTAL PROSE SERIES

We’re looking for selections of prose from single authors, the genre isn’t important, just that you fill at least 8 pages (16 sides) of the 10 pages you’ll be given. The same rules as above apply as far as submitting them.

ADDRESS. The Black Light Engine Room, 12 Harrogate Crescent, Middlesbrough. TS5 6PS.

Submissions accepted from Saturday 1st of April till Friday 30th of June 2017.

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We’re almost to March, and I’ve been assured that I’ll get another year’s funding for the Press in June. This will be the final lot of funding from Christian Seedbed, who have funded me for the last 2 years. So, I’n saying Thanks!

We’ve got a busy publishing schedule up until June, with Ann Cuthbert in the Inicdentals tonight, alongside Janet Philo and Steven Bruce in Dark Matter 8. Then, in no particular order, Neill Fulwood, Aidan Clark, Ann Graal, Charles Lauder jr, Neil Young and Jessamine O’ Connor.

Graham Clifford, who we published last month, is having a London Launch on Thurs, 2nd March at Willow Brook Primary School, Church Road, Leyton. E10 7BH. Its a free event, featuring myself, Harry Gallagher, as well as Graham & David FLoyd. It is a free event if anyone is interested, but is on very early – 17.30-19.30. And, I’ve been told, we’ll all be adjourning to a local hostelry for post-gig chats and the like.

Issue 15 of the mag is finally done, and I’m just waiting for this weekend and the London Trip to be over, before sending out copies to those poets unfortunate enough to be in it. Which brings me to my real reason for blogging –

I’m going to launch a Prose Journal to run alongside the main BLERoom poetry one. As yet I have no snazzy title, though TITLE is actually in the running, but we’ll see. If you’re interested in submitting to it, then please read below for details.

PROSE JOURNAL – SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

We’d prefer unpublished work, but if it has been featured in out-of-print  journals in the past. All work must, obviously, be your own. Illustrations for your work will be considered, but not necessarily accepted.

Any subject matter will be accepted, though its down to the quirky tastes of the Editor, Me, as to what goes in or not. I have specific tastes, but can also recognise when something is good but not to my taste. We’ll also consider articles on the arts/lit etc, but not – and I can’t stress this too strongly – verbose, phd-like writings will not be considered.

Your submissions can be short, flash-style fiction, to a couple of pages long.

HOW TO SUBMIT.

Please send your work to The Black Light Engine Room, 12 Harrogate Crescent, Middlesbrough. TS5 6PH.

All submissions must be SINGLE-SPACED & have be wither stapled together, or have the title & numbers on it. Include your NAME/BIOG & an email address where I can contact you.

Submissions will be read from 1st March 2017 til 31st August 2017. Each person chosen will get a contributor’s copy. Ta.

 

2016

December 22nd, and I thought I’d better write a blog while I’m still feeling positive.

On the whole 2016 has been a good year. For the Press it has meant a lot more coverage, due to the Incidental Poetry Series, which started with Robert Francis in October 2015, but really kicked off in January. Martin Malone. Harry Gallagher. Jane Burn. Pippa Little. p.a. morbid. Annette Volfing. A great bunch of poets, and – even if I do say so myself – a gorgeous imprint, aided massively by Jane Burn’s illustrations for them. 2017 will see the launch of Incidentals by Graham Clifford. Helen Anderson. Ann Cuthbert. Ann Graal. Neil Fulwood. Aiden Clark. Charles Lauder jnr. Neil Young. Jessamine O’Connor. And that’s only from January to June!

The Dark Matter chapbooks have played their part too, with 2016 seeing Judi Sutherland paired with Jim Burns, and Laura Lawson paired with Richard Skinner. February of 2017 will see Janet Philo paired with Steven Bruce. Two names to watch for 2017!

finally, the mag. Apologies to everyone who’s submitted stuff, been accepted, but hasn’t seen the mag yet. I’ve developed a very ambivalent attitude to the mag, which has prevented it from getting published, but am working to have it ready for early in the New Year.

I’m not gonna name everyone who cam to read with us in Middlesbrough, as there have been loads. Thanks to all of you, and I hope to see you – and some new faces – in the New Year.

Right, that’s enough positivity from me, I’m going to indulge in some nihilistic behaviour…

Flying solo…

Not  a post about poetry, or the nihilistic experience of running a mag…today is the private view of my 1st solo exhibition. Its upstairs in the Python Gallery, and while not being the main exhibition, I’m rather pleased with it.

I did my first painting in oils in October 1988, when I was living in Radlett (Herts) with Peter (curator of the Python) & have painted intermittently since then, usually destroying them because they weren’t right. Or in a drunken rage when I needed to vent some anger. Peter offered me the space last year, but I didn’t take him up on it til this year, and since then I’ve been painting regularly. Which is great for me, as my poetry has been very thin on the ground, mostly because I’ve been trying to finish a short story, which I’m in the process of re-writing. And my other life as a Local Historian takes up a fair bit of my time. I’m working on a couple of Middlesbrough related projects that will see fruition next year, as well as book of poetry/prose/history/art that deals with the town.

But painting. I’ve got 28 pieces in the exhibition, the majority from this year, and while they’re not what you could call homely, they are arresting and I’m looking forward to the private view, not least because TP Cafe’s sausage rolls are delicious, but to see how people react to them, good and bad, because a lot of people I know only know me as a poet, or a historian with a weird 2nd life as a poet. Though I think most of them are aware that I’m a somewhat troubled soul, which is evident in the work. I’m expecting a few people to ask why I can’t paint nice things, or even why can’t I paint, but hey ho.

I will blog about the draining experience of being a poetry publisher soon hahah – no, seriously, the Press is good, and while I’m still struggling with the latest mag, I am still in love with it all…

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“i speak but You do not listen” (2010) and “Background Radiation” (2013)

The exhibition runs til the end of the year

incidentally, a Call-Out

Now, listen carefully, I will say this only once…

We’re asking for submissions, BUT, you have to follow the guidelines given or you won’t be considered

We launched the 1st of our Incidental Poetry series on Halloween 2015, with “transitions” by R.M. Francis. This was followed by “tongues of fire” Jane Burn, “prodigals” Martin Malone, “chasing the sunset” Harry Gallagher, “our lady of the iguanas” Pippa Little & “river songs” p.a. morbid.

IMG_0033If you feel like you would be suitable material for The Black Light Engine Room then please send your manuscript to the address below, BUT, remember these guidelines:

It must be on A4 sheets, using Times New Roman 11 point & No Spacing.

Each manuscript should have a separate piece of paper with your                        name/address/email & short biog, as well as                                                                                          a list of the poems & the name of the collection

The submissions window is from 1st May to 30th June & I will endeavour to let you know as soon as I can if your poems aren’t what we’re after.

If chosen you will be given 5 complimentary copies as payment, and be able to purchase more copies at a reduced price.

You will be expected to promote the chapbook with – preferably – a launch in Middlesbrough, or a similar event in your home town/locality. We can’t afford to pay you to come to Middlesbrough, but we will house and feed you.

If you’re interested then you can send a manuscript to: The Black Light Engine Room, 12 Harrogate Crescent, Middlesbrough. TS5 6PS.

If you want the poems returned then enclose an SAE