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The Black Light Engine Room – Issue 6 and all that palaver…

March 18, 2013

…so much for in the in-depth analysis of putting together issue 5. I started off with the best of intentions, writing up the minutiae of assembling the poets and artists, but got stuck on writing about how I’d overstretched myself with having too many contributors to give complimentary copies to…November & there’s still 2 people not got their copies!

Since then I’ve been having a massive think about how I go about things, especially as I’ll be going Self Employed with the whole BLERoom franchise…so…what have I learned?

Limit the amount of people in each mag, so I don’t have to give out as many – especially as its £1.20 to send them in the UK! More poems, less poets. And the night – I was having 6 performers on sometimes, which isn’t good if I’m paying out £5 to each one! So…less main performers, keeping the money I’m paying out to £20, but giving them longer on. We’ve a launch event this Friday 22nd March – the mag isn’t actually finished yet, but it will be ready and printed out for then – swear down man! I’m excited about it, and to offset costs we’ve got an Apples & Snakes performer headlining, which helps in 2 ways – I don’t have to pay them and there’s (hopefully) a little  more publicity/interest generated. Anita Govan, in case you’re interested. She’s not in the mag, but two of the main performers are – Harry Gallagher & Tony Howson, neither of whom have ever read at BLERoom. Harry I met at the opening for Mary Lou’s exhibition, and turns out he’s a Mensch, very funny and a good poet to boot! Tony got in touch with me online & he’s got a book out in Valley Press, Scarborough, which is very good. So…forging links with local(ish) presses…and Michael Affleck, who’s just come back from Portugal. He’s read snippets at the night before, but never a full set. I’m excited people!

The mag is looking very good too – there’s less poets, but the standard is still high, even though I’m in it…My son has done the front cover, and there’s four lots of artwork inside by grown ups! Again I’m conscious of not over-stretching myself financially, so have scraped together enough £ to get an initial print run of 30 copies. I took £18 in 5ps and copper to the bank this am, and Mother lent me £30, so with the £ I still have, there’s enough to pay the printer AND feed me and Stan for the week – just! The one thing that didn’t go as planned was the review of Sam Hamill’s book. I’d put it off from issue 5, with more than enough time to write it properly, when suddenly I had a month to get it all together! I was starting to panic about getting it finished, worrying about it in the middle of the night as this week came closer. In the end I decided to scrap it till next time – there’s big chunks of it written, just not very coherently! He’s ok’d the inclusion of two poems from the book, so at least people can get a taster of him!

I’ve also done the grown up thing and joined Linkedn – which is nice…I suppose this is better than nowt, tho I’m not sure when I’ll get the urge to blog again

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