Launch success

It really was a great night and such a marvellous setting, dead chuffed to be part of the TSFG group.

Tindal Street Fiction Group

The launch of the TSFG anthology –  The Sea in Birmingham, was a great success. Here are a few pictures from the event, held in The Studio Theatre, New Library of Birmingham as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival. More photos of Tindal Street Fiction Group writers to follow. Images courtesy Tricia Armitage.

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What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe

My review from Goodreads, there are some spoilers in the form of the general feel of the book and a comment on the ending but nothing that should spoil it for a reader…

 

what-a-carve-up

 

A political novel, inside a family history, inside a who done it, wrapped together by an old black and white comedy, staring Shirley Eaton (yes, that famous Bond girl.)

Once I got into the book I couldn’t put it down. It starts with an introduction to the Winshaw family, a thoroughly despicable bunch, rolling in money and desperate for more. The family history is to me written by a young, successful novelist called Michael Owen, who plods through his own family trauma whilst delivering a few chapters a year to his publisher. Coe uses different points of view throughout the text, extracts from newspaper articles, film scripts and even dreams. What initially took me a little while to get my head around soon becomes a wonderful stream of images that plot this reprehensible family’s rise, alongside the slow destruction of the welfare state, through the 80’s and early 90’s.

The political aspect is well researched, scathing and often funny. The characters are richly drawn and have a real resonance throughout the plot, no matter how briefly we see them. I particularly liked Mr Onyx, the meticulous, homosexual detective, who keeps finding himself caught on the long arm of the law for toiletry indiscretions and how Owen’s dreams appear to be precursors to the action. I really enjoyed this, it was witty, moving, critical and gripping. Well worth the 400 plus pages just for the adrenaline paced, gore fest at the end, Cluedo with buckets of blood. Marvellous.

Volume: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair

I just grabbed this straight from the Writing West Midlands newsletter. It looks like a great opportunity for independent book publishers. I know there are a lot of great books out there produced with love and care by independent publishers, but I’m sure I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. I think it would be great to see as many of them as possible, all under one roof, in the stunning new Birmingham Central Library.

If you are an independent publisher, or know one, get them to check this out, I’d love to see them there.

Opportunity for Publishers to exhibit at first Library of Birmingham Art, Book & Print Fair in December 2013
Stalls available at the first Volume fair: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair at the Library of Birmingham. 
December 5 – 7, 2013.
Writing West Midlands is helping to curate this wonderful weekend of panels, workshops and stalls focusing around publishing, printmaking and art and all points in between. This will be an event of international profile and ambition, including speakers, panel discussions, workshops and a fair, selling books, prints and artwork from an international selection of independent publishers, printworks, artists and organisations. The event aims to showcase and celebrate the very best in independent publishing, artist books and zines, whilst also interrogating issues central to publishing culture.
Stalls cost £60 for two days (Friday & Saturday) and are located in the stunning new Studio Theatre space within the Library of Birmingham. If you are interested in taking up a stall at the fair, email admin@capsule.org.uk.

Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

Here’s a quick reminder that I’m reading poetry today, in Birmingham. Come along, there’s a tent!

Here come the lobsters!

 

Blimey, I’ve been invited to read again this summer!

This time it will be at the gorgeous Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston, Birmingham, for the launch of a Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen collaboration entitled,’Sea of Brightness,’ published by Cinnamon Press.

The Martineau Gardens really are wonderful, an oasis in the middle of the city and a fine venue to hear some great poetry.

There are some excellent poets on the bill,including the mighty fine Charles Wilkinson. I’m in the same writers group as Charlie and he’s an excellent orator as is Jacqui Rowe and Meredith Andrea. I don’t know Joan Poulson but I’m sure she must be good.

Below is the invitation.

 

 

Invitation

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16th June at

A Midsummer Poetry Picnic

in the beautiful Martineau…

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Poetry Event

Tindal Street Fiction Group

On Sunday 16th June: Two TSFG members, Charles Wilkinson and Garrie Fletcher, will be taking part in the Midsummer Poetry Picnic to be held at Martineau Gardens, Birmingham at 2-6pm. They will be among supporting guest readers at the launch of  a collaborative poetry book ‘Screen of Brightness’. For more details: http://www.martineau-gardens.org.uk/2013/05/midsummer-poetry-picnic/

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