In the interests of giving the magazine an airing in different parts of the country, The Interpreter’s House editor Martin Malone came down to the south coast yesterday to launch issue number 56.
It was a very different event to the last one. Firstly, the Redroaster Coffee House is less intimate than the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford. The event was also by suggestion of Pighog Press, who run their regular events there. As a result, the evening felt a little bit shoe-horned into the Pighog format, with their usual entrance prices and a large number of open mic readers. With an hour of open-mic to fit in, we didn’t get enough of Martin Malone’s lovely compering skills, there was less time for the kind of relaxed banter we had at the Oxford event, and I didn’t come away with a strong feeling about The Interpreter’s House as a magazine. And as usual it went over time, which is tricky for the out-of-towners with trains and buses to catch.
All of this is a shame, as many of the contributors had come a long way to read – Robert Harper from Shrewsbury, for example. Robert is the Stanza rep in his area and also editor of Bare Fiction, a new magazine of poetry and prose. There were lots of friends in the audience and there were some very enjoyable readings. I always like to hear poet friend Charlotte Gann (LOVE her poem ‘Next Door’ in the magazine) – she doesn’t do many readings so catch her when you can. It was also great to meet (and hear read) Paul McGrane and Richard Skinner, both of whom I’ve had a fairly long internet acquaintance with but never actually met. Incidentally, although several of the open mic readers were excellent, a few could have done with reading these tips from Paul on open mic readings!)
It was brilliant to have The Interpreter’s House come here for a local launch and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves so maybe I’m a lone grump in the wilderness (go on, you can tell me!), but I do think the star of any magazine launch ideally needs to be the magazine and its featured contributors. After the Oxford launch, I had a much better idea about the ethos, history and personality of The Interpreter’s House, and was moved to subscribe. I hope last night’s attendees felt that way, because that would be a real result.