Last night’s SPL duplex launch of Andrew Philip’s The Ambulance Box and Rob A Mackenzie’s The Opposite of Cabbages was a most enjoyable evening. The readings by the two poets were first class, and I thought they complemented each other very well. It’s always good to hear contrasting voices, and while their styles and choices of subject matter and treatment offer different pleasures, this was a fine showcase for both. I’m looking forward to reading my precious signed copies now! It was also a good occasion for Salt Publishing, one of the most innovative UK literary publishers. I always admire their book designs, and their covers are fantastic – always striking and imaginative. It was also a pleasure to meet another Salt author, Katy Evans-Bush, last night. Her collection Me and the Dead came out last year, and I recommended it at the time. She’s also one of my favourite bloggers (along with Rob of course), and she always has something interesting to say over at Baroque in Hackney.
You know how I hate to name-drop my dears – it always sounds so gossipy – but the Library was packed with as fine a gathering of writers and artists as I’ve seen in ages. Fears were expressed over the floor loading of the mezzanine, but having gone over the original architectural drawings with Malcom Fraser back in the 1990s I felt no qualms. (Oops, I dropped a name)
This Friday comes my launch of Irene Brown’s Glass Slippers, in the imaginative setting of the Duo Boots shoe shop, Castle Street, Edinburgh (7pm). I was really chuffed when Irene came up with the idea, and I’m delighted that the shop folk liked it too. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there. As you can see above, I like good cover design too.
Other Calder Wood Press titles are progressing nicely. Mary Johnston’s Fa dis she think she is? will be next, closely followed by Dave Purdie’s The Godothin, a Scots version of the Brythonic original. I’m almost embarrassed to say that the 2010 CWP list is already full, subject to confirmation. That happened within a fortnight. And my own new collection from Red Squirrel Scotland is on the stocks. AND StAnza starts next Wednesday, AND I’ve got loads to do before then. Must dash!