Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Starting with a Bang!

What a New Year it's been already! From Spoken/Written having it's funding secured for another six months, to a book FINALLY coming out (after a wait of years) with a chapter in it that I (with my proof reader hat on) had proofed at least three times in different formats, and so felt almost as precious about as if I had written it myself! To having a story published in a really excellent online PDF magazine, 20x20 magazine, and another online publication too. All in the space of a week - it really took some of the bite out of the freezing temperatures, having to miss the Storyclub due to going out in the evening making a cough (that was bad before Christmas and came back directly afterward) worsen, and made up for the fact that the pipes on the bathroom had completely frozen...(don't ask!).

The book which had the chapter I'd proofed was a philosophical reader entitled 'Deleuze and the Fold: A Critical Reader', essays on modern French philosopher Gilles Deleuze's textured and complex book, 'The Fold: Leibniz & the Baroque'. And so the first time I'd proofed it, it was as a paper to be delivered at a conference. This meant of course that I could leave in some speech elements, rather than be heavy on the grammar. The second time was when it was requested for publication, when it had to have all the formality of a written text, plus a full bibliography. The third time was when (having seemed as if it would never get published) having changed editors, the new editors sent it back with comments in Dutch...I eventually figured out what they must mean (being standardized in boxes and hence from the programme itself) by the context...And so at last it's out and I've actually held a copy in my hands! What a relief. It's so good to have it exist in 3D at last! Check out the links below if interested to see what sort of book it was. The chapter I proofed was the last one.

20x20 magazine is a beautifully laid out PDF magazine, and the artwork in black and white is stunning. It had an architectural quality that I really liked and (for the first time ever!) my own story was put next to images I thought were wonderful and also actually complemented the text! The other work was all of a very high standard and all in all, I was really impressed. The previous issues online had made me think it looked a really interesting project with high quality work, but I was amazed how the theme of this issue ('Harmonia Mundi') had attracted such an interlocked body of work. It seemed to me almost as if most of the contributors had discussed beforehand what they were sending, and so it all fitted together as harmoniously as the title suggested! I've rarely been so favourably impressed by the whole of a magazine before - not just the poems, or the fiction, or the artwork or the photography, or the cross-artform 2D works or the lay out or the juxtapositions of work, the way each piece is placed on the page, but virtually everything. I can't recommend 20x20 too highly, (and not just because I'm privileged to be published in this issue!) but because it really IS a work of art. All tribute to the editors, Giovanna Paterno and Francesca Ricci.

All this and workshops and gigs being confirmed and requested - and that despite the weather and remains of hangovers!
Here's a raised glass to the rest of the month, I hope it brings you something long-awaited.

Check out;
Deleuze and the Fold: A Critical Reader

20x20 magazine

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A Happy New Year!

Good news! The Arts Council have granted Spoken/Written Bulletin S.W. and related newsletters six months funding. To say that I'm relieved would be an understatement. This project is not only about keeping Spoken/Written afloat in a swiftly-changing period for the literature scene and its organizations, nor only about expanding Spoken/Written, but also covers research into two sibling newsletters - one for performance arts (theatre, dance, music etc.) and one for visual arts (sculpture, painting, 2 and 3D art, textiles, crafts, photography, video art etc.). Why? Because one of Spoken/Written's original models were the Arts Council's previous three newsletters under those rough headings. And a very fine service they all provided.

It's wonderful to be able to report such positive news, and this success is a tribute not only to the service itself, but to all those subscribers who paid their fees, donated money or sent in testimonials. This is your triumph as much as it is the Editor's. Thank you. The Bulletin and I could not have done it without your help. The word gratitude seems too small, but the cup that holds it is overflowing.....A Very Happy and a Prosperous New Year to you all. Bless you!