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What's happening at HappenStance

NOT VERY LIKE A WHALE

Collapsing, nearly fainting and then projectile vomiting at the end of a poetry event, while a young mandolin group is serenading the audience, is wayward behaviour.

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THE PLOT THICKENS

John Lucas's Shoestring Press is publishing a new books of poems by me, Plot and Counterplot. Arrival of the volumes is imminent, perhaps (or perhaps not) in time for Cromer and Sheringham Festival, where I'm reading with Helen Ivory and Jehane Markham at the Shorelines event on Friday night (29th October).

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THE HOLIDAY BOOKBAG

When we went on holiday my dad would have a bag of books -- his maximum quota from Knutsford library. Science fiction, the sea, thrillers, anything to do with the war. I had a similar bag from the children's library. My sister, who was also reading fit to bust, must have had the same. My mother had books in German and a dictionary and her letter-writing stuff.

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ONE MAN'S LAUGH. . .

One man's laugh is another man's groan. Not everybody likes Ogden Nash (though I do). Not everybody rolls about at Hilaire Belloc's Cautionary Tales (though I do). T S Eliot's cats never got half the publicity of 'The Waste Land' and Ruth Pitter's case for The Comic Muse has never really been heard.

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New Kate Scott Pamphlet

Kate Scott's pamphlet is out and about. Escaping the Cage has a gorgeous cover design. The poems inside look innocent enough at first, then knock you off your cosy chair when you're least expecting it.

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STICK THE SONNETS IN THE GREY BIN

Poetry is always recycling itself: it's a kind of permanent landfill. Landfill, mindfill, handsfull, sound-swill.

Or to put it another way, it's language that continually recycles itself: the soundtrack to our lives, popping up here and there, changing and churning, biodegrading, upgrading, forming a sludge the size of a continent somewhere in the middle of our collective unconcious.

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