Monday, 7 December 2020
Sunday, 1 November 2020
Now comes the business of selling it! You can buy a copy direct from me for £9.50 (postage is free in the UK) by emailing me on email@example.com. If you want I can sign it for you. Alternatively it is available from my publishers Indigo Dreams or most online bookstores.
The launch reminded me how much I love reading to an audience and I actually quite enjoy reading on Zoom, so if there is anyone interested in my reading at a poetry event, please email me on the above email.
Friday, 28 August 2020
Here it is - the cover of my collection Owl Unbound with Indigo Dreams Publishing. I am really pleased with it. The cover very cleverly references several poems in the collection.
The collection will be published on 1st October with my launch on 23rd October on Zoom (more info to follow). It can be preordered from the publishers here: https://www.indigodreams.co.uk/zoe-brooks/4595048690. or you can order a copy from me (signed if you wish) on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
The idea that my poetry collection will be published is becoming more and more real. I have sent off the final copy to Indigo Dreams, together with an information sheet about me and the book, and a head and shoulders shot (how I hate photos of myself).
The launch date is set: 23rd October. It will be a zoom event hosted by Cheltenham Poetry Festival. I will miss the party feel of a physical launch, but as I said in my last post a zoom event has the advantage of allowing me to invite people, such as my friends overseas, who would never get to a physical event. A number of poet friends will be joining me in reading at the launch (details tba), so it won't be unadulterated Zoe! If you fancy coming, do drop me an email or post a comment below. Or just look out for my posts on twitter, facebook or instagram. Alas you will have to bring your own wine.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
We all thought this would be a temporary phenomenon, but a lot of people have been enjoying poetry online and realising that the internet allow syou to go to poetry events all over the world. I suspect that even when the live events restart (which may be a long way off) the online poetry scene will continue.
Okay there are downsides, but online poetry events do allow you to go round the world, to hear poets you would never hear otherwise and even to read at open mics there. Importantly online poetry allows people who cannot access in-the-flesh events because of where they live or because of disability to access a world they would be excluded from. Somewhere out there is a poet or poetry event organizer who sees the potential of this brave new digital world, who sees a new path for poetry.
I thought I might share with you some of the online poetry event organisers whose work I have enjoyed. I know there are some I have missed out and there are loads more I don't know about. Please add any you know of in the comments or email them to me and I will add them to this post.
Book launches by Carcanet Press: https://www.carcanet.co.uk/events.shtml
Launches and other readings organised by Seren Books: https://www.serenbooks.com/events
Book launches by Nine Arches Press: https://www.facebook.com/NineArchesPress/
Cheltenham Poetry Festival is offering an amazing programme of readings and workshops: https://cheltenhampoetryfest.co.uk/
Ledbury Poetry Festival has a 2-day online festival on 4th and 5th July https://www.poetry-festival.co.uk/festival-online-programme-register-for-events/
Gloucester Poetry Festival is also offering some great readings: https://www.facebook.com/GloucesterPoetryFestival/
Gloucestershire Poetry Society's Crafty Crows events offer invited readers and open mics: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thegloucesterpoetrysociety/
Poetry Norwich has a monthly event https://www.facebook.com/VoltaPoetryNorwich/
Swindon's spoken word event Ooh Beehive is also now online: https://www.facebook.com/OoohBeehive/
Dear Listener - in Worcester is also now Digilistener:
Cafe Writers in Norwich - invited readers and open mic http://www.cafewriters.co.uk/
Poets Cafe in Reading - nvited readers and open mic: https://www.facebook.com/ReadingStanzaPoetsCafe
York Spoken Word - open mic https://www.facebook.com/YorkSpokenWord
A number of poetry magazines are having online launches including Poetry London, Poetry Ireland, Butcher's Dog, Poetry Review, and Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal.
The Poetry Book Society has events on its Instagram account: @poetrybooksociety
Helen Ivory and Martin Figura have launched Live from the Butchery: https://www.facebook.com/Live-from-The-Butchery-100380041704407
Thursday, 30 April 2020
There is a Czech saying that my friend Hannah regularly quoted at me: "How to make God laugh - tell him your plans". My plans for this year were considerable. With my collection Owl Unbound due out this year, I had plans to build up my reputation at poetry readings, to network, to continue sending out to magazines, and of course to launch the book. God must have found them very amusing.
Even the sending out to magazines is becoming less easy as some print magazines are having problems with their printers. My publishers are having problems with their distributors. However online there is a surge in Zoom, Hangout and similar forms of internet events. I have enjoyed being a member of the audience at some of these. The Cheltenham Poetry Festival is organising a series of online workshops this summer and I am helping out with these.
And yet, online poetry for all its attactions, is not the same as being in a room with people. Technology (especially mine) has a habit of failing at the worst time. The connection falters and sometimes fails altogether, words are mangled, images of poets freeze. Nor is it possible to get the non-verbal feedback one gets when reading.
There has been a flurry of covid poems (some of them brilliant and some awful) and several covid anthologies are calling for poems, including one being produced by the Gloucestershire Poet Laureate, Z.D Dicks. Write Where We Are Now is an initiative by the Manchester Writing School and fronted by Carol Ann Duffy, creating online a living record of the crisis.
Pandemics have been a subject I have been interested in for decades. The threat and reality of the plague appears in my Healer's Shadow trilogy. And in my files I have an unfinished poem cycle about the impact of illness and environmental depredation on the collapse of the Roman Empire.
In the last month I have written two poems that might be termed covid poems. But as is usually the way with what I write they aren't a direct take on the subject. I am cautious about writing about covid now. Everything I write comes from somewhere in my brain where it has been brewing for a while. It is linked to my mental wellbeing.
Never has it been more the case that we write about what we must. For some people that is about virus, for others they need to write about anything but. The current anthologies can only capture a snapshot, and a valid one, but the best work on the subject may well be written in hindsight.