Monday, November 16, 2009

I'd never been to the Small Publishers Fair before. My impressions were: a smaller room than I'd expected - the tables were uncomfortably close together, so you had to be on friendly terms with the neighbouring stall - and a friendly, almost community atmosphere. Most of the stalls were selling handmade or artists' books, expensive and high quality. Apart from Leafe, there were 5 poetry stalls, all promoting excellent poetry: Veer Books (of Birckbeck College - wherever that is), West House Books, Shearsman, Reality Street and a stall selling work by Thomas A Clark. It was good to meet the proprietors, some of whom I knew already.

I met several other poets there - Giles Goodland, Frances Presley, Andrew Duncan, John Welch, and was sorry to miss some others who couldn't make it due to the UK's disintegrating transport system - Wendy Mulford didn't make it for her reading, but I enjoyed the reading by John Welch and Linda Black. I restricted myself to buying 3 books - the Reality Street Book of Sonnets, Thomas A Clark's new Carcanet book, and Andrew Duncan's 'The Council of Heresy'.

We sold a satisfying number of books, including several of the new Leafe Book by Adbellatif Laâbi.

Sam Ward brought along his latest Skysill Press pamphlet - 'The World Seen from the Air', which is by me (more on that later), and that went on the stall. Sam's done an excellent job of designing it.

Last, but not least, I got to spend a couple of days with friend and co-editor John Bloomberg-Rissman, and to stay over with John and his wife Kathy. A great pleasure. Sad to see them go, not knowing when we'll meet again.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

Hi Alan
Good to chat at fair. Selected Tzara is good. Thanks. Hope you decide to order a copy of our book see www.cantbooks.co.uk

See you at the fair next year hopefully

Dan Pounds cantbooks@gmail.com

Alan Baker said...

Hi Dan - 'Southampton Dada' looks interesting. When I get back on home ground I'll get my cheque book out. Nice to have met you.