1st May 2022
The old order changeth, etc.
Welcome to this new bloggy version of the newsletter. From now on you'll get an emailed link first thing on Sunday morning and one click will bring you here. You can also (if that's your idea of fun) explore the archive of 800+ blogs I wrote between 2012 and 2020. I stopped blogging when the pandemic began and other priorities kicked in.
Every Sunday The Glue Factory newsletter will continue to bring to your attention the kind of things you need to know. And, unlike Twitter it isn’t owned by Elon Musk. I shan’t harvest your details and commodify your existence for my personal enrichment and I will never invest millions in brain chips or experiment on animals or accuse brave cave rescuers of being paedophiles. Those are all promises, and I expect you to hold me to them.
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 if you receive a link to this newsletter you’ll also get a unique link to our live invitation-only online gathering on Sundays which start at 7:30pm UK time. They are always free to join so donations to The Trussell Trust - or your local foodbank equivalent if you're outside the UK - are appreciated.
Let me know if you’d rather not receive this regular update and I’ll happily stop badgering you.
These are dark times and getting darker. Let’s stick together.
1 Aid for Ukraine
2 This week’s online gathering
3 Indie press news
Galley Beggar Press
And Other Stories
4 Maia Elsner reading
5 I Know Where I’m Going
6 National Poetry Library event
7 David Hayden: a new short story
8 Kavin Jackson klaxon
9 Dalkey Book Festival
10 Moth Poetry Prize shortlist
11 Next week’s online gathering
1. Aid for Ukraine
You’ll have many calls on your time and generosity when it comes to supporting the people of Ukraine. This weekly newsletter will continue to highlight some of the less visible initiatives (and please let me know of any that you'd like to share), but the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate here.
2. This week’s online gathering
An evening curated by Richard V Hirst, editor of the forthcoming Waiting for the Gift: Stories Inspired by Low 10m
Low (1977) stands as both Bowie’s creative apex and an album which pushed popular music to the outer limits. The eleven short stories in Waiting for the Gift, each of which takes a song on the album as its title and inspiration, provide a collective response from some of the best contemporary writers of fiction.
Waiting for the Gift maps out the otherworldly labyrinth that is Low, moving through tales of madness and the abyss, but also of futuristic fantasia and intrepid inner exploration.
Join Richard and his guests Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Ruby Cowling, David Hayden and Melissa Wan for 90 minutes of prose, music and performance, with some rare Bowie footage and marvellous writing.
3. Indie press news
Not really indie press-related but included here. My thanks to Caroline Clark for alerting me to the existence of ROAR: Russia's Oppositional Arts Review. This was launched on April 23rd in Russian and English by Linor Goralik. The site was immediately cyber attacked but there's a work-around link here: https://spotted-meeting-c51.notion.site/ROAR-First-Issue-9b481dcf93ce4ff696ec537cad10f3a9……
Issues will appear as long as Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine.
Galley Beggar Press
Here’s a Good Thing. Our friends Sam and Eloise at Galley Beggar Press, the pre-eminent Norwich independent publisher, have just issued a list of April highlights from other indies, and it’s worth a look because it’s proof not that proof is needed) of how exciting the UK indie scene is, and what a wonderful range of adventurous writing is there for the asking.
And Other Stories: career opportunity
This Sheffield-based indie press is looking for a part-time Sales and Marketing Assistant (three to four days/ week; £20– £24k per annum pro rata).
4. Maia Elsner
The poet Maia Elsner (a future guest on The Glue Factory) will be doing a reading at Camden Image Gallery on 14th May at 2:30pm of ekphrastic work inspired by the paintings of her grandfather Dante Elsner.
This is one of a series of events as part of the first ever show of Dante Eslner’s paintings, curated by Jana Manuelpillai from The Noble Sage.
The exhibition runs from 11th - 16th May.
5. I Know Where I’m Going
Great news for film buffs. Martin Scorsese’s nonprofit The Film Foundation is launching a free virtual screening room to showcase restored films starting on Monday 9th May with I Know Where I’m Going! (1945) This happens to be one of my favourite films and if you've seen it already it's sure to be one of yours. If not you're in for a rare treat.
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and restored by The Film Foundation and BFI National Archive, in association with ITV and Park Circus, will be available for a 24-hour window. Subsequent features will debut on the second Monday of each month. Events will start at a set time with introductions and conversations with filmmakers and archivists providing an inside look at the restoration process.
The lineup from co-curators Scorsese and Kent Jones includes Federico Fellini’s 1954 La Strada; G. Aravindan’s 1979 Indian film Kummatty; a film noir double feature of Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945) and The Chase (Arthur D. Ripley, 1946); Sambizanga (Angola, 1972, directed by Sarah Maldoror); One-Eyed Jacks (1961, directed by Marlon Brando); Moulin Rouge (John Huston, 1952); Lost Lost Lost (1976, by Jonas Mekas) and others TBA.
6. National Poetry Library event
Make a date for the London opening of Future Cities on Wednesday 11th May, 7.30pm at the National Poetry Library on Level 5 (Blue Side) of the Royal Festival Hall.
Future Cities is an exhibition of artworks from the Arts Council Collection and includes live readings from contributing poets, including Glue Factory alumna and rising stars in the poetry firmament Astra Papachristodoulou and Aea Varfis-van Warmelo.
The exhibition speculates on the world to come in a narrative journey featuring works of art by Graham Gussin, Alek O, Prem Sahib and Janice Kerbel, and poetic responses by some of the UK’s most exciting voices – all brand new commissions.
The National Poetry Library is open on Tuesday 12 noon — 6pm and Wednesday to Sunday 12 noon — 8 pm. Closed Mondays.
More details and free tickets here.
7. David Hayden: City of Pigs
Here’s a link to 'City of Pigs' a very short story by David Hayden, published by Granta (although perhaps that should be Grunta).
It will take you two minutes to read and stay with you for the rest of your day. Hell, the rest of your life.
There are very few writers who can match David for the beauty and austerity of his prose, and even fewer who would disagree with that. His first collection of short stories, Darker with the Lights On (2017) is one of the great books of the past decade, and widely admired, not least by other writers.
Here’s a review of this ‘brilliantly disturbing and unclassifiable debut collection'.
You can buy a copy from Carcanet here.
8. Kevin Jackson klaxon
Many people loved and admired the kaleidoscopic talent of the scholar and critic Kevin Jackson, who died last year.
If you're one of them join Matthew Sweet, Marina Warner, Jack Klaff and Tom Sutcliffe at the Jermyn Street Theatre (just ff Piccadilly Circus) for an event to celebrate his life and work. I never met him, alas, although I did review his Constellation of Genius (2012) for Literary Review, a brilliant account of modernism's watershed year of 1922. He is much missed.
Details and tickets here
And here's Tom Sutcliffe's obituary of Kevin Jackson.
9. Dalkey Literary Awards
Dalkey Book Festival this week announced shortlists for the the 2022 Dalkey Literary Awards which aim to promote and support Irish writers.
The annual awards have two categories: 'Novel of the Year' and 'Emerging Writer' and are for writers born or resident in Ireland and published in Ireland or the UK in 2021.
Emerging writer shortlist
Lisa Harding: Bright Burning Things (Bloomsbury)
Louise Kennedy: The End of the World is a Cul de Sac (Bloomsbury)
Victoria Kennefick: Eat or We Both Starve (Carcanet)
Una Mannion: A Crooked Tree (Faber)
Rosaleen McDonagh: Unsettled (Skein Press)
The five authors featured in the shortlist for Novel of the Year are
John Banville: April n Spain (Faber)
Claire Keegan: Small Things Like These (Faber)
Nuala O’Connor: Nora (New Island)
Kevin Power: White City (Scribner)
Sally Rooney: Beautiful World, Where Are You (Faber)
I can hear the champagne corks popping in the Faber offices, and only wish there were a greater variety of indie presses represented here.
Winners will be announced on Saturday 18th June, which is the last day of the Dalkey Book Festival. I should declare a bias: I want Nuala O'Connor to win. This is her year, and Nora is a marvel, and not just for Joyceans.
10. Moth Poetry Prize winner
Aniqah Choudhri, a British Muslim writer from Manchester, was this week announced winner of The Moth Poetry Prize, as chosen by poet Warsan Shire. Here’s her prize-winning poem:
The Unloving Ground
In the shadow of Black Chew Head, an English woman
sets her dog on you. She says private property
but she doesn’t mean that small patch of earth,
of potato and bracken, but the purple tors, flaming
under a Lancaster sun, the crumbling sandstone
of keep and bailey, the dark wind flooding up
the wide Roman roads, the shorelines where the rocks,
wet and oilskin black, host the glitter of coalfish,
bream and bass, and the towers where crows
caw under a waxing moon, in the city
that once crushed a kingdom. Dare to leave the red
bricked factory-smoked cities, and the glances
slip and slide like oil until you run home
to the headlines that say, this isn’t yours,
this isn’t yours, you can speed your car through
the twist at Snake Pass, walk through the dogwoods
or the pearl-crushed mist, eat parsnips with bloodless beef
and sweeten the grist with sugar in your tea, dream
of Yorkshire fog and lilacs and the dark salt sea,
but even if you die here, you won’t belong here.
Even if you bury your heart, your ribs, your breath
in the sea-stormed, lichened, unloving ground,
England won’t answer.
Read more about the Moth Poetry Prize, and the three other shortlisted poems by Mark Fiddes, Roz Goddard and Heather Treseler here
10. Next week’s online gathering
Our featured author next Sunday (8th May) is Andrew Jamieson who will be talking about and reading from his new book MIDLIFE: Humanity’s Secret Weapon (Notting Hill Editions) 25/30m
an illuminating new book from esteemed psychotherapist Andrew Jamieson in which he draws on years of study and research to realise that the midlife crisis isn't some superficial, modern dilemma that we can laugh off: rather there is an actual evolutionary purpose behind this rite of passage and it is part of the reason why humans are the dominant species.
Poet Astrid Alben on Little Dead Rabbit
Roving reporter Melissa McCarthy on graffiti
Peter Chrisp and Lisa Wolfe share some thoughts on Finnegans Wake
It’s now easier than ever to donate to The Trussell Trust (the UK’s leading food bank charity). You can simply text TRUSSELL 5 to 70085 to donate £5 (in less time than it takes me to type this).
The Glue Factory newsletter and associated live programme are free to all subscribers every week, so donations are appreciated, no matter how large.
And that’s it from The Glue Factory for this week. Thank you all for your continued interest and support. Please spread the word, and let’s stick together.