Five to cherish
TRAVELATOR by Stephen Waling, Salt Press Waling was once
poet-in-residence in a chip shop and his poetry has a salty quality that makes
you want more. Salt churns out quality books like there’s no tomorrow.
Not bad at all. I was top of the list of five to cherish. He also wrote a very good article about the continuing importance of small presses in English writing, drawing attention to such presses as Shearsman as well as Salt. It's an indication of their increasing importance that Luke Kennard, Melanie Challenger and Eleanor Rees all got nominated for the Forward Prize this year. Nothing too avant garde, but both Luke Kennard & Eleanor Rees are very interesting young poets with an experimental edge, and in Kennard's case, an absurdist sense of humour.
I did a storming reading at the Central Library last Thursday - there were people hanging from the rafters and I sold some hardback books. I read with Chloe Poems - who is a performance poet quite prepared to stretch him/herself into new territory with a set of poems about Manchester that captured some of its vibrance as well as some of the annoying aspects of all this "new Manchester" we're supposed to so admire (all shiny new flats and not a poor person in sight.) I read some of my oddest poems, and they went down well.
Eleanor Rees was very good in Liverpool the day after. Another Salt hardback - very beautiful - and intriguingly complex poems set in a kind of magic-realist version of Liverpool.