I have been putting off coming back on here, not just for all the usual reasons for procrastination that many of you will be all too familiar with, but because it’s hard to come back and face my pre-election optimism. I was not hugely optimistic but I had not prepared myself for the scale of the disaster (as I see it) or the anger and outrage that would follow, post-election. I am one of the lucky ones who will be less affected by many of the austerity measures, but we are all affected by social injustice, inhumanity and a disregard for the planet. One of the worst things about waking up on that Friday morning (having dozed for an hour or so) was the misery of feeling so utterly alienated from so many of my fellows. The joy of the massive #EndAusterityNow protest in London yesterday was finding myself amongst thousands of kindred spirits. In the middle of the crush, I could breathe again.
Thanks to all the #WeCantMarch supporters – we are all in this together. And to all those who thought we were marching for a lost cause, I say no, this is the beginning of a five year campaign.
End of rant. For now.
In other news, I was excited to receive my copy of The Interpreter’s House #59, and not just because I was thrilled that a poem of mine is included. It is a tremendous issue, including the prize-winning poems from The Interpreter’s House competition judged by Liz Berry, and many others that I would love to give a prize too. Short stories too. Such a range of voices and styles – I particularly enjoyed having to turn the magazine sideways to read some of them!
Copies are available from the website http://www.theinterpretershouse.com and there will be a launch at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop, Oxford on July 16th. Do come down if you can – it’ll be tremendous.
Then there’s been the Saboteur Awards since I have last been on here. That was the coolest party I have been to this year (actually the only party I have been to this year but it actually made me enjoy a party which NEVER happens). It was an impressive shortlist which introduced me to some writers and events I didn’t know about (this is totally the point of course – that, and a celebration of indie writing and publishing!) and some show-stopping winners! Congratulations to all involved. For details of the winners, see http://www.saboteurawards.org.
Finally, the biggest news – but it is bitter-sweet. The amazing Annexe has announced that it is shutting up shop, at least for now. Founded in 2011 by Nick Murray, Annexe has been as innovative as it has been collaborative with its live shows, magazine, pamphlets, podcasts etc. It will be greatly missed. For its parting blog, see http://annexemagazine.tumblr.com. However, there will be a final party of course – and a last hurrah in terms of publications. I am hugely proud to be one of these ‘hurrahs’ in September with The Frock Enquiry alongside JT Welsh. (Thanks to Nick and poetry editor Claire Trévien https://twitter.com/CTrevien)
We will launch our two final publications in the autumn, it’ll be a good excuse for a farewell party too!
They are: ‘The Ruins’ by JT Welsh and ‘The Frock Enquiry’ by Susie Campbell. We’ll let you know more soon, but we’re very excited by both of these!
More news to follow on this in due course.
So it seems that there is life after the Election after all. But then, as I have said, I am one of the lucky and privileged ones.