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Why o why?

September 20, 2015

7:18am. I’ve been sat at the pc since half 6 – checking mails & tweaking publications. Publications, did you say? Yes publications, plural. Next Saturday we launch Dark Matter 5, the latest in our series of lovely a6 chapbooks (see one of my previous posts for photos). This latest one has Steve Urwin & Catherine Ayres – 2 great poets from the North East. Having said they’re great poets, Steve’s stuff is all prose! and has been a bit of a bugger to format – the good thing is that he’s been on board all the time, emailing amendments – and apologising for being so finicky! I have actually got it done a full week before the launch, which is nice.

There was a recent post on FB by Reuben Woolley which dealt with the problem some poets seem to have with selling. Someone had called him out along the lines of “Salesmen sell not poets”, which, unless it was meant to be ironic, was a stupid thing to say. If the poets aren’t out there pimping their work how are people going to hear about it? As a Small Press its very important that the poets we publish push their product – I’m a long, long way from making any money with BLERooom, but I still need to try. All this snobbery over making a bit of cash stinks of 19th C. foppism – they were all rich, so didn’t need to worry about grubby old money. The good thing with Steve & Catherine is they’ll both perform well & they’ll both take copies to sell on at future events. Which is all to the good. There’s no point in my publishing people if no one knows I have. Which brings me to the plurality of publications I’m working on…

Halloween will see the launch of the first in our Incidental chapbooks series with the amazing “transitions” by Robert Francis. This has been an almighty chew on, and one that is very far from finished. On top of the usual formatting nightmare – I set it all as a4 & the printer shrinks it down to a5, same as he does for the Dark Matter series. But. You have to get the font size right, which means I have to get a proof printed out, and then resize. I had it all sorted, until I decided the wide a5 format wasn’t what I was after…so I’ve changed the size of the chapbook, which has involved me cutting & pasting, then resizing the poems. The series – yes, series! – will all have a similar look – matt card covers, simple illustration, and flaps! Flaps? Yes, flaps…I was inspired in this by seeing a Smith/Doorstep book – and I have a few books with flaps on & they look cool…Robert’s travelling up from the Midlands to perform at his launch, which is also my wedding anniversary! Yes, I know, she’s a lucky girl – married to me and attending a poetry event!!!

We’re gearing up for a bit of a Publishing Blitz in the early part of next year, with not one, not two, but five, yes FIVE chapbooks due out in Jan/Feb. I’ve not started on the newer chapbooks yet, a pleasure I’m putting off for as long as posible. WHO are we publishing? you scream. Well…getta holda yr pants, because…

“Our Lady of the Iguanas” by Pippa Little. “Prodigals” by Martin Malone. “Tongues of Fire” by Jane Burn. “Chasing the Sunset” by Harry Gallagher. And last, but by no means least, I’ll be reissuing my “River Songs” chapbook, which Ek Zuban published in 2010. Its gonna be mental like…

Issue 14 of BLERoom mag will be out at the end of November – we have a few great poets – Angela France, Jim Burns, Tom Kelly – so far, but on top of that we will be publishing snippets from the above chapbooks…


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