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Launches, recent and forthcoming

There have been some interesting launches and other events in the last few weeks. I suppose all those books that were out last year are playing launch catchup. Kudos to all the poetry book and magazine publishers that have kept things going, despite the fact that most books are sold at readings, so sales must have taken a severe hit.

These are some of the events I’ve managed to get to:

Mara Bergman launching her new collection The Night We Were Dylan Thomas, published by Arc, alongside Ranjit Hoskote launching his book The Atlas of Lost Beliefs – the event was recorded so you can watch it on YouTube if you wish. Mara is one of those wonderfully supportive poets and I wasn’t surprised to see a large audience on this very warm occasion.

The next night was the launch of Robert Hamberger‘s long-awaited book A Length of Road – a prose/memoir/poetry hybrid which has been many years in the making, based on Robert’s punishing four-day 80-mile walk in the footsteps of John Clare and a meditation on both their experiences. Rob is another of those lovely, supportive and humble poets as well as being a beautiful writer. Another love-in of a launch!

Last week was the launch of three new pamphlet anthologies from Candlestick Press, one of which, Ten Poems about Getting Older, edited by John McCullough, included a poem by Hastings Stanza member and poet friend Judith Shaw. So I was there primarily to support Judith, who read brilliantly alongside some big-name poets on the bill.

This evening, another Hastings Stanza member Brian Docherty is launching his new collection from Dempsey & Windle, The View from the Villa Delirium, which sounds very on-trend for these days, and I’m looking also forward to next Friday 23rd when I’ll be one of the readers at the launch of the new issue of Lighthouse Journal, in which I have a poem.

Meanwhile over at Planet Poetry, Peter and I are getting Episode 17 tidied up for its launch this Thursday, in which Peter talks to Rishi Dastidar, and we drop a bombshell – I can’t tell you what it is though, as it’s embargoed until then!! Listen in or subscribe in your podcast service to find out…

Enough for now… I hope like us you’re promised some warm, dry days in the next week or so. Don’t we just need it.

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Robin Houghton 2021
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