Sunday 11 December 2022

Newsletter 62

Dear Friends of the Glue Factory

This is not quite the last newsletter - that will be next Sunday (18th December). But this Sunday sees our final live online gathering, the 150th show. It's a two-hour programme (with an interval) featuring highlights from the entire series. 

There will be music, film, poetry, prose, polemic, translation, a review of all the books featured in the past 49 shows and my own selection of Books of the Year. Plus a few surprises and the trademark technical dexterity. 

For the past three years I have invited donations to The Trussell Trust from Glue Factory audiences and newsletter readers but for this, the final show, I'd like to invite you all to make a donation to the Barbellion Prize. Details below.

It only remains for me to give my heartfelt thanks to everyone taking part in The Glue Factory over the past 12 months - I'm currently uploading a complete list of the contributors to my website with notes on each. There are too many to thank by name on the night.

And of course I want to thank you all, as subscribers, readers and audience members, for supporting the gatherings and (this is the reason for it all) The Trussell Trust, whose work has never been more necessary than it is today. 

Now, where were we?



Newsletter contents 

1.  Aid for Ukraine

2.  This week’s online gathering 

3.  Indie press news


        Guillemot Press


        Sagging Meniscus Press

4.  Review 31 Books of the Year 2022

5.  Autobiology by Joanna Walsh

6.  Natalia Zagórska-Thomas: The Camden Town Hoard

7.  Pasolini cenetenary events at the Italian Institute in London

8.  David Bremner klaxon


9.  Last minute plug

10. Next week's nonline gathering

11. Nudge

12. PS

13. PPS


1. Aid for Ukraine 

I first added this opening item in February following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and I hope - I know - it has prompted readers to donate to the British Red Cross, which is doing a lot of good work in the devastated region. You can donate quickly and easily here. Whatever you can, whenever you can.

Thank you.


2. This week's online gathering

This week is not only the last in this series of fifty programmes but also  the last of all the live online gatherings that began in March 2020. That's 150 programmes in all (plus a few specials) amounting to well over 300 hours of top-flight entertainment and more than 500 guests from all over the world

Much of this final programme has been chosen by audience members who have requested particular highlights from the past year - things they missed or things they'd like to see again. Plus a few things of my own and the odd beneficial shock.

Taking part (mostly in pre-recorded form) will be Sara Baume, Kevin Boniface, Marie-Elsa Bragg, David Bremner, Ray Davis, Wendy Erskine, Jake Goldsmith, Rónán Hession, Michael Horden, Michael Hughes, Laura Hopkins, Alex Kapila, Penny McCarthy, Paige Niblet, Julian Stannard, Guillermo Stitch, Philip Terry, Aea Varfis van Warmelo, Tony White and illustrious others.

It's a two-hour programme starting at the usual time, and with a musical interval. I want to go out with a bang so in a change to our established practice this final gathering will be a one-off fundraiser for The Barbellion Prizededicated to the furtherance of ill and disabled voices in writing. The prize is awarded annually to an author whose work has best represented the experience of chronic illness and/or disability. 

Last weekend I sent out emails to many different literary communities - to writers and publishers and aganets and others, and the response has been absolutely wonderful. Thanks to all of you reading this who have already contributed. The future of the prize is now secure for this year (and the longlist will be announced on 16th December), but we need to look beyond that and more donations are needed.

Its founder Jake Goldsmith, a Glue Factory regular, deserves our full support so let's stick together and see if we can raise a hefty sum to help secure the future of the prize. If everyone in the audience contributes at least £20 each we'll easily raise around £500, which will bring the fund to £2,000, and we can feel good about that. Perhaps even more, in which case we can all feel even better. 

And if you can't afford it that's fine. These are dark and difficult times.

And if you can afford twenty quid, why not make it fifty? Come on. 


3. Indie press news

Guillemot Press 

The last book of 2022 from this'Independent Publisher of Pamphlets and Beautiful Books' is A Guillemot Guide to Very Small Press Publishing by the press's founder LukeThompson. A practical guide with lots of information backed up with examples and stories from the Guillemot experience. Available here.

Have a look at their website. You'll find not just breathtakingly lovely books and pamphlets of prose and poetry but also some very affordable original watercolours by Jen Hadfield and woodcuts by Anupa Gardner. 

Among the Guillemot poets to feature on our online gatherings are James Goodman, Kirsten Irving, Amv McCauley and Astra Papachristodoulou. 

Sagging Meniscus Press

There's plenty coming your way from New York's finest indie in 2023, including a new book of essays by me early in 2024 (as confirmed below). Click on titles for more details.

Winter 2022

☞ Stories by Dawn Raffel: Boundless as the Sky.

☞ New poetry by Mike Silverton: Trios. (as featured on The Glue Factory last Sunday)

Spring 2023

☞ Frederick Mark Kramer’s Café Purgatorio.

☞ A major book-length poem from Joseph Reich: How to Shoot a Tourist (with a bow & arrow) in a Hot-Air Balloon.

☞ Seth Rogoff’s The Kirschbaum Lectures.

☞ An essay collection from Kat Meads: These Particular Women.

☞ Stories by M.J. Nicholls: Violent Solutions to Popular Problems.

☞ Lee Klein’s Chaotic Good.

☞ Joe Taylor’s Highway 28 West.

Fall 2023 & Beyond

☞ Tomoé Hill’s Songs for Olympia.

☞ Melissa McCarthy’s Photo, Phyto, Proto, Nitro.

☞ Jon Curtiss’s All My Darlings.

☞ M.J. Nicholls’ The Fall and Fall of Derek Haffman.

☞ New essays by David Collard.

☞ New poetry by Kurt Luchs.

☞ New novels by Lee Klein and P.J. Blumenthal.

☞ Aug Stone’s Sporting Moustaches.


Barbellion Prize

Just a reminder to read the note about this week's gathering (above).

4. Review 31 Books of the Year 

Some excellent choices by Review 31 readers, including Nathan Knapp on Charles Boyle's 99 Interruptions (CB editions) and Liam Bishop on Yuri Felsen's Deceit (Prototype), translated from the Russian by Brian Karetnyk. Both books featured in The Glue Factory this year. Plus my own choice - J O Morgan's mind-blowing dystopian novel Appliance (published by Jonathan Cape).

Review 31 is an excellent online journal founded and edited by my pal Houman Barekat. I've contributed a few things over the years and am always happy to nominate my Book of the Year. In case these are of interest here are links to the previous years:


5. Autobiology by Joanna Walsh

Always ahead of the curve, novelist Joanna Walsh ahs been working with AI and the latest outcome is AUTOBIOLOGY, is now available to buy. It's a novel published under her name yet not written by her. And at the same time it's 100% her own work.

This Castle Freak undertaking assimilates Joanna's explorations in autofiction into a computer consciousness that reconstructs "her" and calls into question the very nature of writing & self.


6. The Camden Town Hoard

Last Sunday's online gathering featured the conservator and artist Natalia Zagórska-Thomas in a pre-recorded talk about her forthcoming collaboration The Camden Town Hoard. Sadly the sound quality let us down, but happily you can see and hear the whole thing on VIMEO here: [awaiting link]

This catalogue is curated and introduced by Natalia with a Foreword by David Thorp and contributions from: Róisín Tierney, Simon Zagórski-Thomas, Kevin Boniface, Ian Duhig, Alex Zagórska-Thomas, Adam Stinson, Nancy Campbell, Julian Stannard, Phyllis Stein, Marius Kociejowski, Katy Evans-Bush, Will Eaves, Amy McCauley, Gavin Clarke, Charles Boyle, Natalia Zagórska-Thomas, Ruth Fainlight, Mervyn Diese, Sophie Herxheimer, Helen Wilks, Christopher Reid, Andrzej Maria Borkowski.

This is a joint publication from Studio Expurgamento (Natalia's Camden gallery) and CB editions. Read an extract and order a copy here.


7. Pasolini centenary at the Italian Institute, London

Thanks to Cristina Viti (the translator of Paolini's blazing poem la rabbia, who appeared on The Glue Factory last month) news of the Pasolini centenary exhibition which opened on Friday at the Italian Institute. Details here:

The launch of Cristina's translation (published by Tenement Press) will be on Monday 16th January. Tickets are free (but you have to book) 

And here's another event to look out for in January....

S J Fowler at the National Gallery, London

Something to look forward to in the new year. Steven Fowler will be appearing on January 20th lates.

8. David Bremner klaxon!

The Dublin-based composer David Bremner has been a regular contributor to our live gatherings. 

His forthcoming album release (which features our favourite Dublin soprano Elizabeth Hilliard, also a Glue Factory regular) is called Mixed Circuits, responding to texts by Rosmarie Waldrop and the Irish poet Billy Mills.

Each of the four works on this double-album is a cycle of several short movements or panels, investigating a single impulse: the exploration of a minimal, drone aesthetic through an atonal harmonic fabric of continuous gradual unfolding. 

From the press release:

'Gesture and rhetoric are avoided in favour of a flickering presence, with imperceptible transitions. Overlaid like quadrats on this elusive, amorphous organic material are clear-cut song forms; they are overlaid independently of the material, so that material and form question each other, sound each other out.' 

Conceived in partnership with Farpoint Recordings as an intensive exploration of cyclic form, and recorded and mixed/mastered by Farpoint’s David Stalling, the release features various chamber music combinations of four stellar performers: Andreea Banciu (viola), Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano), Paul Roe (clarinet) and Izumi Kimura (piano). Included are two song-cycles, with texts by Bremner’s long-standing collaborator Billy Mills, and Rosmarie Waldrop.

The album is launched at midday today (December 11th)at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin as part of the Sundays @ Noon series. You can buy a copy here:

We'll include an exclusive extract from Mixed Circuits on tonight's online gathering, with thanks to David.

9. Last minute plug

Choosing Multiple Joyce as one of her 2022 Books of the Year, Irish novelist Nuala O'Connor (who was the very first to review it back in June) says '... it’s funny, learned, lively, and unique, and I absolutely loved its joyful energy."

Also choosing Multiple Joyce as one of her books of the year, author and critic Gráinne Murphy says ''funny, joyful, smart and often delightfully smart-arse.'

And according to M. John Harrison (no less) it's 'the funniest, most insightful book on Joyce.' Now that's the sort of thing to put the snap in a chap's celery.

Go on. Go. on. Go on go on go on go on.


10. Next week's nonline gathering

You see what I did there? 

11. Nudge

A penultimate elbow in the ribs. 

I don't like food banks, but without them vulnerable people would be starving. Not just the elderly and disabled and unemployed but also folk with full-time jobs who earn such a low income that they can't afford to heat their homes and feed themselves and their dependents.

Tories like food banks because they provide evidence that the Welfare State is no longer an effective and efficient means of supporting the poor and vulnerable. So they fetch up at openings to be photographed smiling at the camera while snipping a ribbon.

Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity.

Please continue to support The Trussell Trust in any way you can.


12. PS

I'm thinking about the future and about the 1,000+ newsletter subscribers. I'll continue to pay my monthly Zoom subscription and would like to offer use of this platform to the outside world 

I've already invited a number of indie publishers to use my Zoom account as a pop-up platform to promote new and forthcoming books and to showcase their past, current and future writers. So you'll be getting occasional invitations to such one-off events in the future and I hope you'll join the audience (as shall I).

And I'd like to extend this invitation to all creative practitioners who would like to share their work with an audience.

And you can also expect online events to mark the publication of the collaborative novel I'm currently editing with Jonathan Gibbs, as well as the forthcoming anthology of film writing edited by Richard Skinner (to which I contribute as nessay on Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry)

Please let me know if you'd rather not receive these notifications and I'll happily stop badgering you.


13. PPS 

There's still plenty of juice in the tank and we hope you'll join the audience for the Carthorse Orchestra Players in their third and final pantomime following the scandalous success of A Christmas Carol (2020) and Through the looking-glass (2021). 

The Company will be joined by talented newcomers including the author Wendy Erskine playing Wendy Darling, a quite spectacular example of nominative determinism.  


       A GRAND   seasonal  pantomime       


             At 7:30pm ON tuesday 27th DECEMBER 2022

                    The Carthorse Orchestra Players 


          P E T E R    P A N            

                or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up 

                              adapted from the celebrated play 

                                by MR. J.M. Barrie        


      A Benefit Performance in aid of 


               *** WITH AN ALL-STAR CAST ***

                                 in the role she she was born to play

                                  The 'fast Belle' from Belfast    

      Miss Wendy Erskine

                                                    As Wendy darling


                                              The polyglot phenomenon

                Mr Frank Wynne  

                                    As Captain Hook


                                 Family Favourite

          MR. Rónán Hession

                                                                    as Mr. smee


                             The dashing matinee idle           

        Master  SAMUEL SKOOG 

                       As  PETER PAN


                                     Whitstable’s pre-eminent tragedian

           Mr. Kevin Davey as  J. M. Barrie


         with their unique brand of Anglo-Gallic hilarity


       Mme. Susanna Crossman   MONSIEUR ANDREW ZeC 

                                            as Mary & George George darling

                    with ALICE  &  Sophia Crossman

                   as themselves

  "The two daves"

             Henningham  &  Collard

                  as the darling boys, Michael and John


                                        And diverting contributions from


                                      Yorkshire’s First Family of Fun

                Mr.  Kevin ‘Sherry’ BONIFACE  

                      Mrs. Georgia ‘Giggles’ BONIFACE                

                                           MISS MOLLY BONIFACE

                              (Appearing by arrangement with the Camel Club, Huddersfield) 


                                                           That broth of a boy from the Emerald Isle

                         Mr Gavin Clarke as Pirate Murphy            


                           the mermaids  

       Marie-Elsa Bragg * Emma Devlin * Ariel Andersse


                        ‘Everyone’s favourite fairy’

                   Amy McCauley

                                                                    As Tinkerbell                    




                                           with an instructive preamble by

          Miss Melissa McCarthy


                                             a valedictory appearance by 

                       Miss AEA VARFIs - VAN WARMELo


                   Original music composed and performed by

                                         Acclaimed empress of all the Ivories

                Helen Ottaway


                                    - NO REFUNDS -

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