The Fair this year was, I thought, a huge success. I’d guess the attendance was about the 100 mark, and around 40 publishers and authors were represented. The atmosphere was great, and the readings were mostly excellent (no one gets 100% from this marker!).
I was there as a publisher, and for me it was a chance to launch Jo Gibson’s ‘The Heart Is Always Full’ for the first time in public. Jo read her poem very well, and her sales were gratifyingly high. We’re planning an East Lothian launch in January, and I’m confident it will do extremely well. Mercedes Claraso’s Unicorn book is also selling well. Both pamphlets will be entered for the Callum Macdonald Memorial Award in March. I’m so glad I won’t have to judge between them – they’re both super poets, but very different.
It was a good evening to catch up with old friends too – much too numerous to mention, but who included Kevin Cadwallender, ex Newcastle and now back in Edinburgh. Kevin was one of the poets I remember best from the old Poems and Pints sessions at Edinburgh’s West End Hotel. His poetry was, and still is, playful, laconic, inventive, humorous and very left field. Friends also included a couple of Calder Wood Press authors for 2008. No public announcements yet, but I’ve decided on the (probable) author list, and over the next few weeks I’ll start going through the portfolios and setting the schedule.