Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm think I'm all ready for the Small Publishers' Fair. The books I need have all been delivered, and all I need to do is pack them into a suitcase (which will be heavy), and get on the train to London early Friday morning. Among the publications I've assembled is only one of mine - the pamphlet 'Hotel February' - but I'm hoping that Sam Ward will appear at the fair, as he said he might, with some copies of my new Skysill pamphlet 'The World Seen from The Air'. That will be my fifth pamphlet. And no 'first full-length collection' yet. At my age! My CV's seriously lacking.

But then, who needs a CV when there's no 'career'? And is a 'first full-length collection' really a step up from pamphlet publication? I'm not so sure. The best - in my view - poets around still publish their work in pamphlet form, and those same pamphlets often reach as many readers as a typical full-length book (and, of course, work published on the Web generally reaches many more readers than the average book). Many poets (myself included when I think about it) actually write specifically for pamphlet publication, in terms of length and format, as if it were a poetic form. Such work often loses something when packaged in a bigger collection. As for CVs: they're useful for getting a job, but have nothing to do with poetry.

1 comment:

Aidan Semmens said...

Very sorry I missed it - and you - Alan. I set off for work three hours early with the aim of getting to Conway Hall as it opened, but then spent more than two hours sitting on the A12 while the emergency services scraped a four-car smash off the carriageway ahead of me. By the time I got to London I simply didn't have time to get to the fair and back to work on schedule. Hope the day went well without me!