Sunday, November 19, 2006

Poetry Publishing

My correspondent asked how do I progress from publishing individual poems in magazine and journals to that magical first slim volume?

Umm good question - synchronicity there in that just after I got your email - a slightly nutty person who'd phoned me a while back - decided to have another go - it's the peril of being in Writers and Artist Yearbook - i told her she couldn't get to first base unless she was on the internet these days - preferably with a blog - she's doing that in between bouts of medication ; )
anyways this time she wanted to read me something she'd just written on emerging from her druggy haze - wasn't bad either - told her it was blend of John Cooper Clark and Pam Ayres - which sent her off feeling positive.

Whats needed is a spell to make pagans a bit less philistine - very hard work getting them to _buy_ collections although they seem to appreciate poems in magazines - everyone seems to enjoy them. In the current very harse conditions for poetry publication you have to have an angle (and an angel). You're doing the right thing in sending out lots of poems to publications - they could maybe be collected together with the longer piece you wrote - but you also need a leaflet about yourself - and this is to be distributed to other poets at poetry slams, impromptu pub readings etc - this is so they know of you and can get in touch if they are looking for support at an event. Realistically you might have to pay for publication of your first collection just so you have something to sell after the readings. Why not see if you can put together a syndicate of the unpublished - each chips in 100 pounds and gets say ten copies of the resulting book which they then give to friends - send to reviewers etc etc - with adverts could be a neat calling card. If you want more that's possible but you have to buy them at cost - but its also there for the odd direct mail sale which can happen. My experience with david parry (caliban) has been ok - had some nice reviews - he is a teacher and thus hasn't done as much grifting as he promised - but its starting to get around - he's starting on a related novel which we put in Mandrake Speaks - see current issue for a nice poem by Bridgit Ariel - it all helps build a bit of a buzz - thats my ten penneth worth -

Suggested Reading: James Fenton, Master Class in English Poetry

Monday, November 06, 2006

A curse on Hastings?

“O Margaret, Margaret! Now thy heavy curse /
Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head,”

Richard III (Act III.iv.92–93)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rough Diamonds Vol I (Review - updated)

A compendium of rare and unpublished manuscripts, typescripts and documents relating to the works of Aleister Crowley

1. Rituals
2. Caliphate
3. Documents
4. Publications
5. Misc

If there is a story behind this continuing series of CR-Rom releases of material that is supposed to be 'under the seal', I don't know it. But my guess is that this is the work of a disaffected OTO member with an 'access all areas' pass to the OTO archive. The producers feel entitled, given the service they are rendering to the sum total of human knowledge, to have some fun at the same time - hence the Wagnerian soundtrack - which frankly I found a bit irritating - I'd prefer something a bit more modern - and I'm a fan of Wagner - but in this context it's a bit camp - come to think of it, maybe that's the idea.

Comment: 'I am sorry you found the Wagnarianesque soundtrack a tad irritating (as a slight digression: Ride of the Valkyres came 'second'). Yes, Eric Coate's 'March of the Dambusters' is camp (as was Crowley! I did not know the man personally, but both my great grandmother and grandmother did), but what true Englishman's blood and soul is not stirred by the symbolism associated with those bombastic chords and the imagery of bouncing bombs on those damn Germans... Or, should that be 'German dams'? Perhaps the soundtrack offers a clue into the 'story behind what's going on sub rosa?'' The C.D. does also offer a jukebox with six alternate choices of background score.

I also wasn't too sure about the photomontage of, for example, Leah Hirsig's head on the body of a soft porn star? There are definately some interesting pictures bundled with the CD but little tricks like the above made me worry about the authenticity of the whole package. But quibbles aside - well worth the price - to get your copy you need to go to the black flag productions website, which was at:

'The subject matter of all B. F. titles is a bit heavy going (to say the least), Certain of the images bundled in the initial (Secret Rituals) release were intended as a 'one-off' bit of light relief. They proved to be extremely popular (for example: a well-know Crowley based web-site's image galleries has four of the images culled from the S.R. multi-media C.D. in its top six 'most viewed images' and hardly a day passes that I do not receive requests for larger versions, or for more). It seems pretty clear that individuals are aware of the nature of certain images, but nonetheless enjoy them for what they are: I will shortly be posting a selection of these on my web-page. Joking aside, and as I'm sure you are aware; the documents and related stuff presented in the 'Serious' sections of Rough Diamonds 'Kicks ass!' ( A vulgar, but apt euphomism I feel).'