A very short poorly clipped twitter flash essay (in response to some recent criticism of flash as a form)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A night with the Riff Raff + upcoming plans

 

 

 

This post is a little late going up – I was floored by an epic London cold, which has only now receded. On the 11th of May I had the treat of taking part in the first Riff Raff meet up at the Effra Social in Brixton. Five authors took part in the lineup, reading from our new books and taking audience questions. It was a great mix of genres, from the comic real-life adventures of co-host Amy Baker, to the dreamy-sounding French novel of Fran Cooper, Paul M.M Cooper’s historical novel of poetry and love, Vanessa Potter’s stunning true story of her sudden-onset blindness and subsequent recovery. For a full read up with photos that capture the cosy atmosphere of the Effra (and links to all the works) go here. If you can get to their next event (as I wish I could as an audience member) you absolutely should. Rosy and Amy are delights, and the evening promises to be every bit as good as this first one was.

 

 

Copyright: Alice Lubbock

 

If you missed me when I was down storming London, there’s another chance to see me coming up, and this time with my good friend (and excellent writer and wit) Gillian Best, author of The Last Wave. You are cordially invited to Listen Softly London at The Barley Mow on Sunday the 4th of June at 7pm. Admission is free, there will be other writers, more books for sale, and I promise to scribble something interesting in your book if you ask me to.

 

Some sad news: my short story collection On the Edges of Vision, which won the Saltire First Book of the Year in 2015, is facing going out of print as the publisher Queen’s Ferry Press is closing its doors. It’s a hard thing to face, unexpectedly grief-filled, though I know of many other authors who have gone through this. Small indie presses, the risk takers, the ones who support what might otherwise be marginalised into silence, are always in precarious positions. I greatly hope there is life yet for my collection, but until something is sorted out, copies of the book are still being sold here, and I will bring down the handful I have to sell at Listen Softly London. If you have read and enjoyed my work, or the work of any other writer, really – support us and our presses by leaving reviews, and writing to us, and passing your battered copies on to friends and family. It’s lonely old work here, always on the precipice of the abyss. Love and appreciation to those who have put themselves so far out over it to get our words out in the world.

 

Still – more ahead for Flesh of the Peach. I’ll be on some podcasts discussing it (& writing process, & publishing experiences, & gun smuggling incidents & other books I love etc. etc) soon, so links will be here when I have them to share. For now – I’m off to bury myself in work and reading. Happy times.

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The Unsung Letter No. 18

A recommendation this week of something a little different – a long poem in translation, brought to our attention by Ariell Cacciola:

 

It is a poem that hungrily gnaws on the antithetical senses of despair and sly humor. I couldn’t hazard a guess how many times I’ve read it (both the original and the translation) and I argue that you don’t even need to know the original German to understand the ricochet of language and anguish, the rubbery sense of voice that tugs the reader back and forth. I was lucky enough to have seen excerpts read publicly by both poet and translator, hearing the sound of each word and the relation to the next and then some.

 

Not signed up yet to The Unsung Letter? There’s now an archive of 17 letters, each by a different writer/critic/book lover, singing the praises of an undersung work. Sign up here.

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The Unsung Letter No 17

This week’s Unsung Letter comes to you courtesy of writer and editor of Necessary Fiction, Steve Himmer. What has he chosen to draw you to? A taste:

 

So it is also extremely funny in the bittersweet, laugh-or-you’ll-cry way life requires. It snuck up on me in a wonderful manner, seeming at first to be a kind of light urban fabulism. Then as characters and their tightly proscribed lives took shape, they revealed the complexities of immigration and bureaucracy and decidedly modern pains and isolations.

 

Read more by subscribing here – for a different book recommendation of something neglectfully undersung, written by a different writer/critic/book pusher each time.

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Reading at the Riff Raff

 

One week from today, I’ll be joining a group of other debut writers to read at the Riff Raff‘s first event in London. We’ll be talking about publication journeys, reading from our books, and selling copies afterwards – of course accompanied by lots of friendly chat and advice, and there’s a bar. Buy your ticket here!

 

I’ll be selling copies of Flesh of the Peach, and the first fifteen folk who buy a copy will receive a small secret gift. I might also doodle on you book and complement your style. It all depends on the moment.

Hope to see you there!

 

Also while I have you – here’s a nice and very short review of Flesh of the Peach in Diva Magazine.

 

More events are in the planning stage (including a second trip down to London in June, and another to Leeds around the same time). All TBA as soon as they’re firmed up.

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The Unsung Letter No. 16

This week’s Unsung Letter is all about teenage passions of the reading kind:

 

The books that I read at fourteen, fifteen, sixteen were just the ones my mum had in the house, those she’d noticed reviewed in The Scotsman or The List in those years. She treated herself to a new book every couple of months and they were almost always by Scottish authors at that time. Janice Galloway, The Trick Is To Keep Breathing. AL Kennedy, Looking For The Possible Dance. Alasdair Grey, A History Maker. Trainspotting, OBVIOUSLY. This was just what adults read, I thought

 

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Flesh of the Peach – On The Night

 

Credit: Olga Wojtas

What a wonderful evening – thank you so much to all who came out to celebrate Flesh of the Peach last night at Blackwell’s South Bridge, and a huge thanks to Roanna for introducing Jenny Brown and myself, and for organising – and all the staff who helped out! Thanks as always to Jenny for her hard work and for chairing.

 

Credit: Olga Wojtas

 

There was a write up of the evening by Love Books Group. Check it out.

 

 

More news – I will be on BBC  Radio Scotland on the Janice Forsyth Show hosted by Edi Stark TODAY from 2.44pm, and after me 404 Ink (makers of Nasty Women and general all-round excellent women themselves).  Listen live online here, and find the archive if you miss it.

 

 

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