Spring! (a Hackney calendar)

Okay, your correspondent is now Back From Being Sick, and her eyes (though a bit wibbly sometimes) are now working. In about a month I can go for a sight test and get new glasses, & for now I’m operating all right.

The main thing is just the catching up, because even the low level I’ve been trying to operate on is hard when your eyes don’t work. When your eyes are tired, you’re tired all over, you can’t concentrate, you just want to sleep. Add into that four kinds of eye drops equalling ten drops throughout the day, and you have a runny nose, blurred vision, and various other side effects (which up until Op#1 on Feb 20th included a flu-like tiredness…). So with all my good intentions, OMG!! @!%*! It’s over a month off sick no matter how you slice it.

If I owe you emails or anything, please bear with me. I’m catching up as fast as I can. I just got the inbox down under 30-to-do for the first time in over a month, and am cracking through it. Deadlines have banked up like snowdrifts. We’ll get through it. Spring is here.

And here, boringly perhaps but necessarily, is a Calendar of My Upcoming Things. Because even while I’ve been lying here feeling stupefied, things have been happening around me and I am about to have a slightly busy few weeks. You or your friends might like to be part of it. Maybe we can all spring into action.

Poetry workshop group

Alternate Thursdays, above the Poetry Cafe, Betterton St, London

New term coming up! There are a couple of spaces free in my fortnightly intermediate/advanced poetry workshop. It’s a small, friendly group, and it meets from 7-9.30pm so there’s lots of space for in-depth critiquing as well as reading a wide variety of stuff, and discussions on submitting, editing issues, and so on. The ‘course’ aspect is very responsive; I can tailor the content to what group members are interested in, working on, perplexed by… Members have been writing for years or are just starting out; some publishing, some not, others thinking about it. It’s alternate Thursdays, starting on April 18th. If you’re interested or have a question, please do drop me a line.

London Book Fair: panel discussion

How to Build Social and Brand Equity on a Shoestring

Tuesday 16th April 11.30 – 12.30, Cromwell Room, EC1

Part of the London Book Fair’s Love Learning programme of free seminars (though I think you have to be actually IN the Book Fair). I guess what we’ll be talking about will be self-evident to anyone reading this blog! (Har har.) The panel includes my wonderful publisher, Chris, and my wonderful fellow Salt writers Elizabeth Baines and Christina James.

Word Factory #9

Keeping the Flame Alive: Song & Story in Hackney

Friday April 19th*, among the linenfold panelling, at the wonderful Tudor Sutton House in Hackney Central.

This event is the ninth venture of Cathy Galvin (of the Sunday Times Short Story Competition fame, recently won by Junot Diaz), who is working wonders all over town reviving the short story. 

This evening will be a mixed bag of narrative and song (like a proper salon), and I will be reading from the now quite rare Oscar & Henry – and I’ll have the last three copies with me for sale, so try and be one of the lucky ones!

Click the headline for more details and other readers. It will be FUN. My friend Jan says she remembers going to squat parties at Sutton House in the 80s, well before the National Trust got involved, and being amazed how everyone looked after the wellbeing of the panelling. Indeed it is lovely.

Sutton House
2 and 4 Homerton High Street,
Hackney, London E9 6JQ

* My brother’s birthday…

Also, the top floor of Sutton House is said to be haunted by a small dog. I will leave pauses in my reading, and with luck we may hear some scuffling, or a faint bark.

Saturday workshops

I haven’t booked dates, but if anyone reading this wold like to come to a one-day Saturday workshop on the first Sat in May, let me know. It’ll be May Day weekend so I’m thinking of exploring the rich but often overlooked theme of Poetry and Work: what does work mean to us, its language, its imagery, how it defines us (or doesn’t)? We spend as much time there as in bed, or maybe even more, and we so often don’t write about it.

Also, I plan to reprise my Keats-based, negative capability, Poem is a Question workshop in late May/early June. Massively positive feedback and people very pleased with their resulting poems, and a Really Interesting Day. So please let me know if you are interested! I’ll be doing more on this soon.

Tutoring, editing, mentoring

And in the meantime, the Baroque editing, tutoring, mentoring, and manuscript feedback service is gathering pace. New eyes see clear! Better book me now before I get busy.

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