Just 99p!

This is embarassing. A friend sent me a text message with a photo attached. It’s my book, on sale for “Just 99p” in a second-hand bookshop somewhere. Remaindered after only 2 years. Well, it could be worse: at least whoever had read it considered it good enough to flog on!

Perhaps this is a good time to resurrect an idea I had a while back. I have one hardback copy left of my first book, and I thought I could sell it for a ludicrously inflated price. The catch is this: not only will I sign the thing (obviously); I will also sit down with a sharp pencil and an open mind and annotate every poem with thoughts, background, context and notes. So for twenty-five quid*, say, you will be the owner of a completely unique document of the writing of a book. And a book, that has been scribbled over.

Does this interest anyone, or is it a ridiculous idea? Either way, I could do with the cash.

If you want to spend much less than twenty-five quid on my book, the paperback edition is on sale for £7.99 at Salt.

* Maybe less. Or I could auction it via Ebay?


Man in Black and exploding fridges

The latest book from Penned in the Margins has just arrived back from the printers, and is looking rather gorgeous even if I say it myself. Man in Black is David Caddy’s ninth collection of poetry, and one of his finest. ‘Radical intent’ is a phrase I’ve been using about David’s work in press releases, and I’d stick by it. His poems champion the disenfranchised and the forgotten – they strive to re-member the past. Shakespeare, Donne and Coleridge are touchstones. So is Johnny Cash. Tomorrow night (22 Nov, 6pm) we’ll be launching Man in Black at Crockatt & Powell on Lower Marsh, behind Waterloo Station. It’s a lovely little independent bookshop which I recommend patronising. Lower Marsh has a daily (?) market. Last time I was there I bought cashew nuts and chorizo. Two of my favourite things.


Man in Black


Today I tried to defrost my fridge. A two-inch layer of ice had built up inside and around the freezer compartment. In the process of hacking away at the ice using a steak knife and a vegetable peeler (as chisel and hammer) I managed to pierce the roof of the fridge, causing the refridgerant gas to seep out. Great. New fridge then. Adding to my already-extensive list of things-wot-I-gotta-buy-for-the-flat. I probably needed to replace the old fridge anyway, I tell myself. I’ve bought a Proline PF120GWA.


Proline fridge


On a merrier note, the very talented musician Al Joshua has formed a new group called Orphans & Vandals. I was very sad when his previous incarnation with The Lost Revue imploded – not least because the drummer was related to me – but definitely recommend checking out his new outfit. Less consciously rock ‘n’ roll than the Revue with the added bonus of a string section and spoken word narratives in more than one track. Jim Morrison meets GY!BE meets Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with some Londoncentric pyschogeography thrown in for good measure. Orphans & Vandals will be launching at the Vauxhall Tavern on 4 December. An historic venue indeed.