June Diary by Sue Wallace-Shaddad
June has had a good mix of activity. I visited a couple more bookshops and am glad to say that a good range of bookshops in both Suffolk and Essex are now stocking my new book Sleeping Under Clouds. The first review, one of several over the next few months I hope, came out with Full House Literary on 23rd June. Thank you to Anthony Arthur for a great review! On 22nd June I ran a small in-person launch with Sula Rubens which was a lovely gathering of fellow poets and friends. Elizabeth Soule and Tamar Yoseloff were guest readers. If you missed my Zoom launch in May, come along to the Zoom fundraiser I am doing for the Causley Trust at 7pm on 19th July. I will be talking about my ‘poetic journey’, answering questions, reading from both my books and sharing some newer poems. Book here!
At the beginning of the month, my reading for Oxford Stanza 2 went well. They are a very friendly group and were a lovely audience. I took part in the open mic that Alexandra Corrin-Tachibana and Joanna Nissel ran alongside their own readings in their event ‘Transitions’. Both have new books out recently (Alex’s is a collection, and Joanna’s is a pamphlet) which I happen to have reviewed. You can find the link to the reviews on my wordpress page ‘Reviews’. I am reading some poems about weather at the end of the month for a Suffolk Poetry Society annual members’ reading which takes place in the historic Walpole Chapel in the middle of the countryside, always a lovely afternoon. Hopefully the weather will be fine and we won’t bring down the thunderstorm gods!
Clare Best had a lovely small launch of her new book, Beyond the Gate (Worple Press) in her home. I managed to go to that and then hightailed it down to Wivenhoe in Essex (an hour’s drive) to hear Peter Kennedy and Antony Johae read for poetrywivenhoe. I also attended another one of Cheltenham Poetry Festival’s excellent Zoom readings, this one featuring Shazea Quraishi, so I have covered a lot of geographical and poetry ground this month, one way or another!
Two interesting items for you to note in your diaries for July:
Firstly, Paul Stephenson, who co-curates Poetry in Aldeburgh (though sadly that is not running this year) has the launch of his first collection, Hard Drive, published by Carcanet. You can go along to the launch on 5th July at Covent Garden Community Centre, London or attend the Zoom launch on the evening of 12 July. See Carcanet for details of both events. As well as finding out about Paul and his work on his website, you can read his fascinating interviews with many well-known poets.
Secondly, the MMI in St Agnes, Cornwall now includes some poetry events in their programme. The evening of sea-swimming poetry on Monday evening 24th July sounds enticing and there is a workshop that same afternoon from the Mor Poets Collective, ‘a group of women poets from Cornwall who have recently released ‘Moroven’, a book of thirty-two fresh new poems on sea-swimming’. Also on the Cornish literature front, I have just started reading Lamorna Ash’s novel Dark, Salt, Clear. Life in a Cornish Fishing Town, (Bloomsbury Publishing). I am hoping to arrange some readings with a couple of London-based Cornish poets later in the year if we can find a time when we will all be in Cornwall! Watch this space..
I try to keep track of deadlines, there always seem to be several at month-end. I tend to leave entries rather late which can be a problem if I suddenly find out that only postal submissions are accepted. Currently, I am finalising a set of poems that I have written about how my Sudanese family has been affected by the ongoing crisis in Khartoum which I have been tracking closely. Luckily most have now safely left the country but the future is very uncertain.
If you would like to contact me to comment or follow up, please send me an email via the contact box on my website . You can also contact me to buy a signed copy my books
Sleeping Under Clouds (Clayhanger Press) and A City Waking Up (Dempsey and Windle).