Sunday 10 July 2022

Newsletter 40

Hello again.

I'd thought of re-naming this newsletter THE GLUE FAC when Johnson resigned at the start of the week, thus deleting the TORY part of the title in a gesture of contempt and in the spirit of good-riddance. But the scapegrace cocksure clot didn't resign. He's still leader of the party, and the biddable mediocrities making up the very worst Cabinet in history are still running the country, and by 'running the country' I mean 'running the country into the ground.' Every day that passes sees more irrevocable damage done to the institutions that define our democracy - the civil service, the law, education, the NHS, the BBC, our arts and culture. In the Bullingdon timeline we've now reached the point where the honking braying drunks start to smash up the restaurant. So The Glue Factory remains 'The Glue Factory'. For the time being. 

Meanwhile here's the commentator Jonathan Pie who sums things up clearly for all latecomers. A five-minute clip that offers an eloquent take on the Johnson regime. Contains language, as they say. Lots of language. 

Let me know if you’d rather not receive this regular update and I’ll happily stop bothering you.  

I welcome suggestions from authors, indie publishers, press agents and creative practitioners of all kinds, in any medium, so please email me with anything you’d like to share with our readers in future issues. 

And don’t forget that you're also invited to our live online gathering on Sundays at 7:30pm UK time. It's free to join (but donations to The Trussell Trust or your local equivalent outside the UK are appreciated). Details of this week's gathering are in this newsletter and you'll get a unique Zoom link at around 6:30pm. Do join us.

And let’s stick together.



Newsletter contents

1.   Aid for Ukraine

2.   This week’s online gathering

3.   Indie press news

        Bluemoose Books

        Héloïse Press

        Massive Overheads Productions

        Vanguard Editions

4.   J O Morgan in London

5.   Observer /Anthony Burgess Prize 2022

6.   Elizabeth Hilliard & David Bremner live in Dublin - free tickets!

7.   Astrid Alben on translation

8.   Multiple Joyce - another plug, and new reviews

9.   The Women's Poetry Prize 2022

10.  Next week's online gathering

11.  Nudge



1.  Aid for Ukraine

It drags on and on, although there's less coverage in our media. Only another spectacualor atrocity seems to make much of an impression as the daily misery and suffering continue unabated.

Please give what you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.


2.  This week's online gathering

Platooon-hah! Ah-tenn-HUT!

The Phil Silvers Show is an American sitcom which ran from 1955 to 1959, starring Phil Silvers as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko of the United States Army.

Popularly referred to as 'Sergeant Bilko', the show is widely-regarded as the greatest television comedy ever produced, and that’s down to scripts and casting, to producer Nat Hiken’s visionary genius and above all to Silvers as Bilko, the role he was born to play. Bilko is among the best comic creations of all time, an equal to Falstaff and Don Quixote: brash, conniving and sentimental, a sharp-witted shyster obsessed with gambling and making a quick buck. 

                             Private Doberman (right) has a moment

This week’s Glue Factory is dedicated to Phil Silvers and all those who worked with him on the show. It’s curated by Steve Everitt, founder of The Phil Silvers Museum in Coventry. Our very special guest is Tracey Silvers, Phil's daughter, who will join us live from her home in Los Angeles. 

If you've never seen the show or if (like me) you're a diehard fan, do join Ernie and the platoon in the Fort Baxter Motor Pool for a night to remember.

Platoooon-hah! Diiiiis-MISS!


3. Indie press news

Bluemoose Books 

Bluemoose Books, the Yorkshire-based indie press, this week shared this review of the French translation of Ronán Hession's second novel Panenka.

It appears in the French online literary journal Caviar. 'Plus qu’une histoire de football, Panenka, est l’histoire d’une rédemption [...] Le roman est porté par le talent de l’auteur dublinois, reconnu pour son style direct et une écriture pétrie de sensibilité.' 


Canterbury-based Héloïse Press is run by by Aina Marti. Some of you will remember her hosting  a Glue Factory feature introducing her press's first author, the Italian musician Erica Mou.

They're having an online event on Tuesday 19th July with Erica and Annabel Lyon (long listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2021).  The event will focus on complex relationships between sisters and will be hosted by the writer Ann Morgan. It's free for Héloïse Press subscribers, or tickets cost £3:

Details and tickets:

Massive Overheads Productions is a creative cooperative, established in 2020 by filmmaker, musician and photographer Alec Bowman_Clarke, and writer, publisher and all-round creative Andrew Leach. They have a subscription-only imprint called Seventy2One, which presents an ongoing series of collectible chapbooks with new works from established and emerging authors, 28 pages each, published and delivered quarterly. Pioneering fiction in bite-sized editions. These books are produced in small, not-to-be-repeated print runs and are available via subscription from just £1.50 per month.

The first two chapbooks (by  Antonia Honeywell and Rachael Smart) have completely sold out and the next is Field Notes, by Heidi James, to be published in early September 2022. If you're interested in subscribing to this ongoing series, you can do so at any time and your subscription will commence with the next available chapbook. An annual subscription will always receive 4 chapbooks; a monthly subscription will always receive one chapbook per cycle of 3 monthly payments.

A monthly subscription is £1.50 (UK ONLY); an annual subscription is £18 (All Territories).

Vanguard Editions

Earlier this year our live online gathering featured publisher Richard Skinner of
Vanguard Editions and translator Mathilde Merouani, talking about a new collection of essays by the French critic Michel Butor.

It's reviewed by Andrew Gallix in the current Times Literary Supplement and Mathilde writes about the challenge of translating Butor for 3:AM magazine here.

You can order a copy direct from the publisher here.


4. J O Morgan in London

As a finalist in this year's George Orwell Prize, the Scottish writer J O Morgan will be making a rare London appearance THIS WEEK, on Tuesday 12th July. He'll be reading from his astonishing novel APPLIANCE (Jonathan Cape) and in conversation with Dennis Duncan.

Details and tickets here.

As well as another novel, Pupa, Morgan has published seven book-length poetry volumes, listed on his Wikipedia page.

Some Glue Factory regulars will be there on Tuesday - it's our annual works outing. Join us!


5.  2022 Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism

The 2022 Observer / Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism has just been launched. The prize, now in its tenth year, aims to find and promote new voices in arts criticism and was set up to honour Anthony Burgess's 30-year association with the Observer.

In the spirit of Burgess’s roving intellect, there is no restriction on the subject matter for review. The winning piece could be about an album, book, concert, exhibition, film, live stream, television show or anything else that offers the opportunity to write a lively and thoughtful piece.

There are free entries for people with low incomes. The closing date is 30th November, and the prize includes publication in the print edition of the Observer and perpetual publication on the website.

Full details here:


6. Elizabeth Hilliard & David Bremner


News from Dublin, where the soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and composer David Bremner (both Glue Factory stalwarts) have a very exciting project currently in rehearsal.

They are prearing for the world premiere production of Slow Recognition, a minimal and immersive 50-minute chamber opera, developed by a process of close collaboration between composer David Bremner, director/dramaturg Hélène Montague and designer John Comiskey. It will be performed in the round to small audiences at the atmospheric Unit 44 space in Stoneybatter, Dublin.


This experimental piece takes an OuLiPo approach, playing with re-combinations of a small pool of text, allowing the singers to paint an expressive world into each word and for the spectator to construct a provisional narrative. Similarly the staging and design play with basic elements, clear gestures with an unclear meaning. The three characters have definite and individual characters, seemingly both familiar and strange to each other, and the clear shape of a story unfolds in time, one told through the totality of the experience rather than literally.


It is a piece of gradual, imperceptible transitions, where a tiny change of emphasis can precipitate a sudden change in dramatic direction.


Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano)

Naomi Louisa O’Connell (mezzo-soprano)

Rory Musgrave (baritone)


Andreea Banciu (viola) and 

David Bremner (live electronics)


Site-specific performances at Unit 44, Stoneybatter, starting at 8pm on


Wednesday July 13th  

Thursday July 14th 

Friday July 15th

Saturday July 16th 

Free tickets are available here on eventbrite 

Supported by the Arts Council, Kirkos, the Lir Academy, and the Contemporary Music Centre.


7. Astrid Alben on translation

Astrid is a fine poet and has appeared several times at our weekly online gathering, most recently to introduce her latest book Little Dead Rabbit, a collaboration with the graphic designer Zigmunds Lapsa.

Here's a link to an article by her published earlier this week on the Pen Transmissions website. On Translation is about language, childhood, photographs and (of course) translation!

8. Multiple Joyce

It has come to my attention that some of you haven't bought a copy of Multiple Joyce: 100 short essays about James Joyce's cultural legacy. 

It's available on both sides of the Atlantic and you can buy a copy here.

What they are saying:

“A rare, delicious treat for readers, and a book that would have tickled Joyce, with its vibrant potpourri of playfulness, punning, and pathos…. I defy Joycean purists not to be totally beguiled by this absorbing, upfront, funny, erudite, and charming book.”

                                        — Nuala O’Connor, in Books Ireland Magazine

“Simply charming…. His voice and his style are infectious…. Anybody who’s even remotely interested in Joyce should own this book.”

                                         — Chris Via, in Leaf by Leaf (video)

“This year being the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, there has been a flurry of new books and republications…. But to my mind David Collard’s Multiple Joyce is the most joyful and the most Joycean…. The strategy of the book … is to take bemusement seriously…. There is a real pleasure in reading a book about Joyce that actually makes you laugh.”

                                          — Stuart Kelly, in The Spectator

“Collard is a wry and gifted essayist as well as an expert on Joyce. But he simply refuses to take himself—or Joyce, or indeed anything—too seriously…. [Multiple Joyce is] frequently bloody hilarious. It’s also erudite and considered, written by a cultured soul with a highly polished proclivity for satire…. I cannot recommend this delightful, unusual work highly enough. Bravissimo.”

                                           — Anne Cunningham, Meath Chronicle

“David Collard’s book reminds you, first of all, to plunge in. The novel is funny and entertaining and so is this book. If you are new to Joyce and Ulysses this is as good a place to start as a Martello tower…. You can go to a scholarly book and find accounts of the novel deconstructed, feminised, decolonialised, and culturally materialised, but this book, for me, was nearer to the truths of how we read, digressively omnivorous.”

                                           — Richard Clegg, in Bookmunch


9. The Women's Poetry Prize

Details announced this week of a poetry prize that is free to enter, open to all UK women poets, has no upper age limit and open to poets at any stage of their career. There are three prizes of £1k each plus 'a package of holistic, creative & professional support'.
The deadline August 12th. Details here:


9. Next week's online gathering

We celebrate the publication of Jake Goldsmith's astonishing non-fiction essay Neither Weak Nor Obtuse

“This wonderful book is like an unblinking conversation with one of the most literary, most honest, most human people you will ever meet. I thank Jake for sharing his life with us, and recommend that you take him up on his invitation.”

                             — Tom Shakespeare (writer, researcher, broadcaster)

Guests include Lynn Buckle, Riva Lehrer and Flo Goodliffe

In the second half we'll be joined by author Ali Millar, whose powerful and troubling memoir of her previous life as a Jehovah's Witness, The Last Days, was featured last week in The Sunday Times. As a fellow apostate I look forward to this encounter!


10. Nudge

This weekly newsletter and the associated online gathering are free to subscribers. Everyone taking part in our Sunday shows does so without a fee, generously donating their time and energy and talent to amuse and entertain you and to raise funds for a very worthy cause.

If you have a few quid to spare, PLEASE consider donating it to The Trussell Trust, a charity organising food banks throughout the country. Right now over 2.5 million households can't support themselves. They need food, medicines, urgent supplies. Please help, and if you're outside the UK please make a donation to your local equivalent.

There are over 1,200 food bank centres in The Trussell Trust network. The services provided by food banks may vary from area to area as they react to the needs of their community to provide help and support to local people in crisis.

Food donations

Non-perishable, in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches, and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted into emergency food parcels by more than 28,000 volunteers, to be given to people in crisis.

Food vouchers

Care professionals such as health visitors, staff at schools and social workers identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher. This means people can receive a food bank parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food from their local food bank.

Additional support

Our food bank network helps people break free from poverty by providing additional support to help people resolve the crises they’re facing so that they don’t need to use a food bank again in the future. This could include things like debt advice, mental health support, or benefits guidance . Food banks rely on the support of their local communities to support people in crisis. Find your nearest food bank here.

And you can donate with a mere click below

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Make a single donation using a debit/credit card or cheque or by text, and help us work towards a future where food banks are no longer needed.


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Donate regularly by Direct Debit or Standing Order and help us create a fairer society where nobody is facing acute poverty.

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If any of you would like to register your dismay at the disgraceful public behaviour of Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns (above), who was recently promoted to the role of Under Secretary for Education, you can email the Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards here:

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