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This week I are been mostly…

August 8, 2012

…making a lot of progress in as far as getting things on a more serious level with all aspects of BLER – these past few months have seen a steady increase in focus, especially since the end of April when I stopped drinking. We’re in the process of setting up as a Community Interest Group (I think that’s the right term), which’ll mean a whole new level of seriousness for me. I’d be able to do so much more if we had some money in the kitty & setting up as a CIG would make a lot easier to get some. This will help immeasurably with the mag, as well as the pamphlets we’ll be publishing in the new year. It’s all going to mean more work and stress for me, but I’m prepared for that. Or at least for the idea of the stress – I was chatting with Chris from Salt Publishing on facebook, and when I asked him for some advice on setting up as a press he said DON’T! but I’ve already gone past the deciding & find myself almost compelled to do so. Literature – especially in Middlesbrough and the surrounding badlands – has become very important to me. And the fact that the Night has become such a well liked, dare I say respected, fixture in many people’s diaries, shows me that we’re doing something right. I think the hardest part is going to be sifting through the submissions, because I understand how important writing is for people & to knock them back, even in as polite a way as I do, can be dispiriting. Then there’s the fine line you tread as an Editor – suggesting a change or just asking them about a certain line – some people can be very touchy! I’m sure this time next year – there’ll have been two more issues of the mag out by then, not to mention one or tow booklets – I’ll be ruing my decision!

Which brings me on nicely to the next issue of he mag.We have around 40 contributors to it, including a few pieces of art. I haven’t wrote an intro yet, nor put in any of the reviews I’m intending to. The poets range from first time in print, to seasoned professionals, a few of whom have books out soon in major publishing houses! As well as talking to Chris, who was a massive help in the 10 minutes or so we chatted, giving out sensible advice and encouragement, I’ve been reading Sam Hamill again, especially his intro to the 25 years of Copper Canyon Press book he edited. In this he goes into great detail about the setting up of the press – everything was hand printed in the early days! and just deriving great encouragement from his dedication to literature and being a poet! He’s one of my favourite poets, and I’m only now just discovering his essays, thanks to a ‘Avocations: on poets and poetry’, which he sent me! Its strange to read someone so conscious of his work being part of a history, and not just writing in a void. He’s a total inspiration, and on top of all his own poetry – his latest ‘Border Songs’ came out in June – he’s published stacks of translations – everything from ancient Greek (The Infinite Moment) to a series of Chinese & Japanese poets of the past (Midnight Flute, 300 Poems From the Chinese). I turn to him when things get too much for me and I’m stressing about my ability to cope with everything.

I’m hoping to post more than one blog a week at some point – if only to drag this shit out of my head and see it more clearly – but also so that I can keep you abreast of our progress – if indeed there is anyone other than Mary Lou & Denise reading this…


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  1. Adam permalink

    Mary Lou, Denise and Adam 🙂

  2. Me! I’m reading your blog!

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