Thank you to everyone who came to the hometown launch of That Lone Ship at TechHub Swansea last Friday night. It was so nice to see so many people I know in the same room. Thanks also to Joe Bayliss for playing for us – ‘For You’ was on repeat in my (slightly hungover) head all Saturday morning.
Ann Bjerregaard has just posted a lovely write-up of the launch on the Parthian Books Intern Blog: "Poems acquire a certain intensity when read out loud in the place they are set, and through the poet’s powerful voice, Swansea became a charmed place." You can read the full write-up here:
At the beginning of this year I was appointed assistant editor of The Ghastling: a literary magazine dedicated to 'the macabre, ghosts and the oh-so strange'. I've been a big fan of the magazine since The Ghastling crypt first cracked open in 2014, so it was really exciting to be asked to join the team by editor Rebecca Parfitt.
My first Ghastling submission window – for a themed edition in celebration of the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – was a baptism of fire, with sixty stories to choose from. I often ended up sat alone in my living room, reading long into the night. The shortlist of stories that I presented to Rebecca at the end of the process were the ones that had got under my skin – the ones that made me question if that really was the radiator rattling in the hallway. Eventually our combined shortlists were whittled down to ten stories, which were then sent off to Art Director Nathaniel Winter-Hébert so he could work his magic. The issue is now available to buy, and it’s so good to see this monster in print!
We had a table at the inaugural Swansea Zine Fest last Saturday. There was a really interesting and diverse selection of publications on show at Volcano Theatre, and it was great to be involved. If you didn't manage to pick up a copy at the festival, you can head over to theghastling.com to order this issue or (even better) purchase a subscription.
My debut poetry collection That Lone Ship is now available to pre-order on the Parthian Books website. Pick up a signed copy for £8 with free P&P (if you’d prefer a rare unsigned copy then let me know).
You can read some of the poems that will be included on my Poetry page.
I'm really happy to have a haiku published in the first ever issue of Wales Haiku Journal. Edited by Paul Chambers, the journal is free to read online and they've just launched their inaugural edition.
Paul has outlined his exciting vision for this much-needed addition to the Welsh literary landscape in this article, published today by Wales Arts Review. That's well worth a read too.
My poem 'The Walk to Work' has been included in the latest Cheval anthology, published by Parthian. Cheval is the anthology of the Terry Hetherington Award, which has become known as one of the most significant awards for young writers in Wales. Now in its 10th year, the award was set up in memory of the Welsh poet Terry Hetherington, who died in 2007.
It was lovely to read at the launch of the anthology in Swansea last Friday, where I met many of the wonderful people associated with the award. I was also pleased to be reading alongside my fellow Hay Festival Writers at Work Rhian Elizabeth and Philip Jones. Perhaps the highlight of the night, though, was being drawn by the supremely talented Siôn Tomos Owen. Thanks Siôn!
You can order a copy of Cheval #10 from Parthian's website: parthianbooks.com
Edit: A review of the Cheval launch has since been published by Wales Arts Review. Read that here: walesartsreview.org/cheval-10-spoken-word-night
I've been a Popshot reader since their first issue, so I'm really happy to have a poem published in their latest. Thanks to editor Jacob Denno for choosing it, and to the talented Zach Meyer for the accompanying illustration.
Originally focused on poetry alone, Popshot relaunched in 2012 with the strapline 'The Illustrated Magazine of New Writing' to include short stories and flash fiction. Each issue is centred on a theme, with illustrations accompanying each piece of writing. The theme of Issue #17 is 'Future'.
Pick up a copy of the Future Issue at popshotpopshot.com
I have three poems in the latest issue of The Gull magazine. One of the poems is, perhaps confusingly, called 'Gull'. The other two are, less confusingly, called 'Drowned' and 'Victoria Park, 5 a.m.'
You can read the whole issue for free here: thegullmagazine.wordpress.com
First published in 2016, The Gull calls itself "the greatest literary and cultural magazine ever to be edited by a seagull." I don't think you'll find many people who would dispute that. However, despite being only two issues old, The Gull has already featured some exceptional writing. Take a look at Gillian Clarke's poem 'Storwm Awst', published in Issue #1, to see what I mean.
Thanks to editor Christopher Cornwell for first encouraging me to submit to The Gull and then publishing my poems.
The very first thing I saw this morning was a notification on my phone for a rejection email that had arrived overnight. I've been trying to take a more positive approach to rejection emails recently (after reading this article by Kim Liao), but it was still a boost to come home from work and see this envelope from Windsor, CT on the doormat.
I've got a haiku published in this forthcoming issue of bottle rockets, available to pre-order now from bottlerocketspress.com (though this issue is on a limited print run, so get in quick if you want one). Thanks to bottle rockets editor Stanford M. Forrester for accepting it!
In April last year, I revealed that one of my haiku would be included in The Haiku Calendar 2016, published by Snapshot Press. Since 1999, Snapshot – an independent publisher specialising in English-language haiku, tanka and other short poetry – have run an annual competition to find 52 haiku to publish in their Haiku Calendar. Of course, by now the 2016 version has been printed and sent out.
Edited by John Barlow, each calendar features haiku poets from around the world, and intends to explore and celebrate the relevance of kigo (a word or phrase associated with a particular season) in English-language haiku. As far as I'm aware there are no readily-available photographs of the actual calendar on the internet, so I thought I'd take some and share them with you.
In my experience, there are very few opportunities for haiku poets to see their work in print (most magazines dedicated to form seem to be completely digital, with a few notable exceptions). The 2016 calendar is the 17th published by Snapshot Press, and for that – along with their consistent output of high-quality collections and anthologies (Lynne Rees's Forgiving the Rain is my favourite) – they should be commended and celebrated.
Copies of the 2016 calendar are still available, priced £7.99 (UK), €14.00 (Europe) or £12.00/US$20 (Rest of the World). To order one, go here: snapshotpress.co.uk/calendars/the_haiku_calendar/2016.htm