Friday’s reading came at the end of a pretty exhilarating few days for me. Some time ago, I submitted a manuscript for a full-size poetry collection to Arrowhead Press, and they’ve just accepted it. The working title is Troy Town (although I have quite a few alternatives in mind), and publication is currently set for the middle of next year.
Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but when Making The Most Of The Light was being put together, it surprised me just how much I enjoyed that editing, honing process (it helps when you have an excellent editor), so I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in.
Naturally, I’m delighted by all this and haven’t quite got my head round it yet. I can’t claim to be familiar with all of Arrowhead’s poets, but I’m flattered to be in the company of those I do know. Bob Cooper (whose work is sometimes described as “New York meets Newcastle”) is a really excellent poet, whose perceptive criticism at The Works has been a big help to me, and David Bircumshaw (another Leicester poet), had a really unusual and memorable collection published by them a few years back. Another Works regular, Poetry Scotland editor Sally Evans, is there too, and Jennifer Copley, Lyn Moir, Marita Over and Sue Vickerman are all poets I’ve read and enjoyed. And of course, Poetry Editor Joanna Boulter’s own On Sketty Sands is a really fine chapbook (she went on to be nominated for the Forward Prize, I think, for her recent collection).
Funnily enough, at Friday’s reading, I met Peter Rafferty, who has already had a collection published by Arrowhead, and who shares my predilection for birds in poems. I like the look of his book a lot. It's good to be on board.