Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Plumbers do turn up: on Monday morning I faced up to the fact that this house is disintegrating around me, and by lunchtime there was a plumber in the kitchen ripping out the kitchen sink and replacing taps and a glazier replacing a window broken about three months ago.

Books turn up too, eventually: a package containing copies of Ponge, Unfinished Ode to Mud, mailed to the US on 17 January at a cost of around £25, has just arrived at its destination.

Yesterday evening the Rack Press launched its new set of four pamphlets, including Christopher Reid’s Airs and Ditties of No Man’s Land, which is being set to music by Colin Matthews and will be performed at the the BBC Proms this summer. Christopher has recently published with Areté, CBe, Ondt & Gracehoper and Faber; he is leading his future bibliographer a merry dance. The other Rack Press pamphlets are by Roísín Tierney, Angela Topping and Nicholas Murray (‘a scathing verse broadside against the coalition government’).

The spring CBe books – Nancy Gaffield’s Tokaido Road and Jonathan Barrow’s The Queue – are printed, and will be available from the website in April. Nancy will be reading at the British Council in Tokyo on 9 April.

The new Hammersmith & Fulham News has a piece on Days and Nights in W12 which goes some way towards clearing up the mystery of the single shoes on page 80: ‘The single shoe (often spotted on a bus shelter roof) is a west London street sign indicating a drug dealer is operating in the immediate area.’

In defiance, even denial of cuts and slashes, here are three new presses that will be publishing their first books this year: Notting Hill Editions, And Other Stories (mostly work in translation), Istros Books (translations from Eastern Europe). CBe will be typesetting for all three.

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