Monday, 10 April 2023

A New Season

It’s April, and having been asleep since January – at which time the only new CBe title on the horizon was Patrick McGuinness’s essays, carried over from last year – I wake up to find there are now eight, or maybe nine, new books in preparation for publication later this year and early next.

For starters, a reissue of J.O. Morgan’s first book, Natural Mechanical, first published by CBe in 2009: winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, Forward-shortlisted, all that kind of stuff and more. His more recent fiction and poetry have been published by Cape. The reissue is in A-format size, part of the little gang that started coming together last year: photo above. Available from the website now. For the first orders (I’ll stop when I start to get worried) I’ll add in copies of Morgan’s At Maldon and a Poetry Archive CD of his reading that (from memory: an hour) for free.

Among the other new titles: a memoir of growing up in London in the 1950s and later told in the contrasting voices of two sisters, with objects and playlist as well as stories and playscripts; an essay on grief and isolation that has more pages of images than text; a fantasia on Bebe Rebozo, Mafia-related buddy of Nixon in the 1970s, in the spirit of Philip Guston’s drawings of Nixon; the diary of a writer visiting a country in which (officially) there are no dogs; poems of justified rage delivered with skill and lightness.

Below, a drawing by Ron Sandford of Dai Vaughan, found last week in a back-issue of Ambit. I hadn’t seen it before. He’s at work in the cutting room: Dai was a documentary film editor. He was also a writer: ‘One of the most imperiously intelligent fiction-writers alive’ – Neal Ascherson. But not alive now. CBe published his Sister of the artist in 2012, a few months before he died, and also a pamphlet of his poems (14 short love poems written in the 1960s and another 14 written to the same woman, re-met after an absence of half a century).

Which reminds me … To fund the new titles I do need to keep selling the old ones. Season Tickets on the website: 6 books for £40, or 12 books for £75, post free. (And I’ll add in extras, such the Dai Vaughan pamphlet.)

No comments: