Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Free verse is on its way

Free Verse, the the big poetry bookfair organised largely by CB Editions, has had to move - again - to bigger premises. This time the fair will be at Conway Hall in London and takes place on 7 September. If you are around at 2.30 come and join Five Leaves session - twenty minutes of Ian Parks reading from Versions of the North: contemporary Yorkshire poetry or drop by our stall. All the readings are twenty minutes so apologies to other Yorkshire poets but we thought it best that the editor does the whole job, and he will do it well. The list of stalls is bigger than ever - including Picador (goodness) and Faber (shock) rubbing shoulders with the groundlings. I wonder if Faber will bring that, what was his name, Mr Eliot along. I've got a few words to say to him. Last year's book fair was an eye opener. Firstly, it is a book fair. Books - that's the attraction. The readings are all very well - and we are pleased that one is ours - but the main story is books, books and books, some of them in the weirdest shapes and sizes, most definitely the sort you don't see in bookshops. Actually most of the books there, sadly, will be ones you rarely see in bookshops.
The second reason it was an eye opener is that many of those attending were young, carefully working their way round all the stalls before splashing out. I doubt anybody made their fortune on the stalls, but I doubt any stall holder went away empty handed. The secret is - from our point of view - to come back with less than we arrived with and I think we did sell more books than I bought! The event is free and the details are on http://www.poetrybookfair.com/.

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