Unsuitable blog and HappenStance news

What's happening at HappenStance

Po-rating processing

I spent a long time yesterday collating the different ratings of a poetry pamphlet from the 20 or so HappenStance reviewers who returned them. I made a nice table and then messed about cheerfully with statistics and averages, and sent off emails to those who hadn't returned their ratings because the pamphlet either hadn't arrived or had got buried.

Sometimes almost all poetry judgements seem to me to be totally subjective. It reassures me, in a rating exercise like this one, that despite the fact that some opinions do vary fairly radically, the majority come inside a very similar band.

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Preparing for the 8th funeral

The rowans outside my study window are greening in front of my eyes. One day there's no blossom in the town; the next there are trees drenched in pink. The tulips in the front garden are standing proud with little red lines crinkling where they plan to open this week if the sun persists (it's gone cloudy again this morning). This is the best time of year. Everything full of promise and eagerness. Nothing yet lost . . .

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In and Out of the Dark Mud Bath

Sphinx 12 has gone out in all its waspy colours to those and such as those. As usual, the posting process took longer than I could possibly have believed, but it is done.

So it's back to the poetry pamphlets: Jeremy Page's In and Out of the Dark Wood is just about done. The second draft went in the post to him yesterday. David Ford's Punch is sitting in front of me. These two should be printed in May.

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Spring arrives, and so does Sphinx 12

Dressed in waspish colours, Sphinx 12 is on its way to the contributors and also to subscribers whose names begin with A and B. Going to start on C later this morning. Meanwhile, three bumblebees have been seen in the garden, which is unfolding in the sunshine like those paper flowers you put in water and see grow right in front of your eyes. It's uncanny.

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Sphinxing

Reviews are on the website now for Mark Halliday, Alison Brackenbury, Harriet Torr, Judy Prince, Alice Beer, Anna Woodford, Andrew MacMillan, Kevin Cadwallender and Lyn Moir. The ones for Peter Sansom, Nalini Paul and Michael Davenport will follow shortly.

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More stamps

The cost of stamps is about to go up again. No surprise there.  Yesterday, I bought even more than usual for the mass post-out of  Sphinx 12 which is imminent: it cost a great deal of money and my small consolation was knowing it would have cost even more in two weeks' time.

Then I went to the bank to pay in the tax rebate (yeay!) from losing money on HappenStance last year and was served by a girl with a badge that said 'Sharon Excellent'.

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