Sunday, 26 October 2008


I regret, a bit, not wearing my red shirt yesterday at the book fair in the Conway Hall (I put it on, but then changed it for a black jumper before leaving home) because the man behind the adjacent table – Vincent Katz, New York poet, translator, editor, publisher, writer on art (Twombly, Clemente, et al), video producer/director and all-round necessary person – did wear a red shirt and the twin-effect would have been fitting: he has boy twins, I have boy twins. Such coincidences, odd angles of recognition, abounded. The lady who had been culling her books at home and had just placed Ponge’s Soap in the to-keep pile, then came to the fair and saw the CBe Ponge – whose very existence derives from another such happy concatenation, in this case the translator Beverley Bie Brahic happening to talk with a poet friend at last year’s Aldeburgh poetry festival. (We sold 12 copies of Ponge; and there’s a nice mention of the book, by the way, here.) These encounters made for two good days; the hours passed quickly, I have names and email addresses scribbled on bits of paper, and if by next year money will have been replaced by a barter economy the whole event will still be more than worth putting on.

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