Download HashtagPoetry# – the @StAnzaPoetry Edition (Free)

Download your FREE ebook or PDF: HashtagPoetry# – the StAnza Edition.

At the beginning of March 2016 I had the honour of being the Hashtag Poet in residence at the StAnza International Poetry Festival in St Andrews (Scotland).  The residency had three elements:

1. An installation / projection of a selection of the work I had produced over the previous year as I had developed my HashtagPoetry# project on Instagram and Twitter.

2.A DIY open workshop at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews encouraging festival attendees to make blackout / hashtag poems (see some of the results at the end of this post**).

3. Creating and posting (mostly) new work in response to the festival and its themes.

For the final element I lined up a series of pieces ready to post during my stay in Scotland and then added new work created over my three days at the festival. I will admit I did re-post a couple of older pieces just because circumstances reflected the content and they worked within the specific context of those moments but the majority of the work was created specifically for StAnza.

I have collected these 28 pieces in a FREE ebook & PDF, HashtagPoetry# – the StAnza Edition. You can sign up to download it here.

I continue to post new work as part of this ongoing project on Instagram and Twitter and am currently creating a new piece each day throughout April as part of NaPoWriMo.

 

** Here are a selection of blackout / Hashtag poems made by StAnza Festival attendees:

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Advance Review Copies Available

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I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before to post this here.

If you are are book reviewer and you use Netgalley you can download an Advance Review Copy of my forthcoming book HashtagPoetry# – the Hidden Poetry of Twitter via this link.

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I call this Impossible-Polaroird-Wall-Poem#3 made with words collected at StAnza. Thanks to all present at the festival for a total mind feast and in particular to the following for their companionship, support, camaraderie, conversation and inspiration: Harry Man, Jo Bell, Tania Hershman, Kevin Reid, Justin Stephenson, Scott Tyrrell, Ryan Van Winkle, Nora Gomringer, Daniela Seel, Sophie Gainsley, Lyndsey FineranBen Gwalchmai, Jim Carruth, Brian Johnstone, Elizabeth Hare, Kirsten Luckins, Dave Coates, Jemima Foxtrot, Malika Booker, Katie Ailes, Kevin Mclean, Joey ConnollyBas Kwakman, and of course of course of course Annie and Eleanor for inviting me to StAnza. It was an honour. 

Time Travel Hotel… 1star or 5star?

9781909136526After publishing Time Travel Hotel last year I punted a few copies our into the world to see if it would garner some GoodReads reviews and maybe a few readers off the back of that. Here are a selection of comments from the results:

“Packed full of crazy characters and events, with a twisting storyline and atmosphere that reminded me of Catch-22 (as referred to in the influences) with a little sprinkling of Kafka and Beckett.”

“I enjoyed this book. It’s a bizarre and quirky time travel/looping book with some raunchy but very quick sex scenes. I enjoyed the author’s style and humor. Definitely not a sci-fi that will please everyone, but I thought it was fun.”

“This was one of the strangest books I have ever read”

“totally manic, somewhat confusing and often pretty revolting”

“follows a man who is hired to track down a man by the name of Eugenides. He arrives at the hotel, the time travel hotel (republic), and the book follows his search for the man gone astray, meeting various characters along the way. And I do mean characters. A girl with 9 lives, and a penchant for jumping off high balconies; a man who falls through floors, willingly or not; an alien from mars, terribly dissatisfied with the less than packing members of male earthlings. The entire thing was a bit odd, and I loved it for that reason.”

“if one is easily offended, one should not attempt reading this book.”

FB Ad1 18Mar15“I didn’t want to put the story down. It is very creative, to say the least, and extremely odd. Maybe a little too odd at times”

Time Travel Hotel was the wildest leisurely stroll I’ve ever been on. With a small cast of eccentric characters and a complex yet uncomplicated plot, it was a very easy read, despite being entirely bizarre and occasionally disturbing.”

“there is so much nonsense within this short novel (as I typed that, I started thinking about the absurdity of this book and accidentally typed ‘snort shovel’) that the reader isn’t really left with anything more than what he chooses to assume. ”

Yep. No complaints. I deliberately wrote an absurd time travel detective sex comedy that ran at 100 miles an hour but tipped its hat firmly in the direction of Waiting for Godot or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (I LOVE R&G are dead!). Throw in my love of Catch 22 and Sombrero Fallout and this is what you get. Also I had this image in my head of Hugo Ball or another Dada mayhem maker blowing a horn loudly while Tristan Tzara was reading a poem so that part of the narrative is obscured and therefore deliberately dropped the “plot” and reader down a mine shaft in the dark as often as possible whilst keeping the whole damn thing rocket speed readable. So no surprise that those who get it, love it and those who don’t REALLY hate it. Happy with it all. No one seems to have been bored!

One author poet I have published at Burning Eye emailed to say this:

“I meant to say I finally got round to reading Time Travel Hotel the other week, and thoroughly enjoyed it – old school Adams-ian sex comedy sci-fi Ken Campbell-ish trip, man.

Thanks for writing it.”

Time Travel Hotel is available in paperback and all manner of ebook versions. If you buy the paperback from Burning Eye and put the promo code DADA in the relevant box you will get it half price.

Paperback from Burning Eye>>>Paperback from Burning Eye>>>

Ebook from Amazon

Ebook from Kobo

Ebook for iBooks

Also available from Waterstones Foyles Blackwells Wordery Books etc

Here’s a sample…

What is going on with Time Travel Hotel?

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Time Travel Hotel is a satirical sci-fi novel published by Burning Eye in April 2015. When I say satirical though I mean I use Sci-fi and satire as a way of exploring certain other ideas – I do not satirise Sci-fi. Too big a fan for that!

You can buy it from AmazonFoylesWaterstonesBlackwell’s, direct from Burning Eye or from Apple for iBooks, and any bookstore that doesn’t have it in stock can order it for you.

It is an exercise in accessible experimentation so on the one hand it is experimental. I fold several interwoven stories together and throw in a couple of dada hand brake plots turns but all the while writing with one eye on the rules of Elmore Leonard. Hopefully the end results is part art-experiment-pretension but always a zippy easy read. Dada plot experiment meets delinquent pulp fiction? Yeah. That’s what I was aiming for.

It is kind of 18+ though, I should warn prospective readers. It contains some bad sex. Not badly written (I hope) but bad as in failed, disastrous, embarrassing, cringe-worthy, clumsy and hopefully amusing. One Goodreads reviewer did decide that if you are easily shocked you should avoid Time Travel Hotel. Yeah – that was what I was aiming for.

This is the back of my book.

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There are some serious undercurrents. I explore the 21st Century’s obsession with immigration and outsiders, how the same situation has different repercussions depending on race, gender, species, planet of origin.

It is also a novel that wears its influences on its sleeve and a canny reader will find nods, winks, and references to Herodotus, Catch 22, Kurt Vonnegut, Waiting for Godot, The Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch, Star Wars, the 15th Century Hungarian king Mattias Corvinus, The Wasteland, The Simpsons, Liutprand of Cremona – historian of Otto the Great and Hong Kong Phooey.

What is it about? Try this:

Occupied during an Anarchist riot, Battersea Power Station flicks out of existence and returns as the technologically ambiguous INTERFOLD – THE TIME TRAVEL HOTEL REPUBLIC, complete with a reputation for spontaneously relocation.

Black McCarthy, a detective, is sent to INTERFOLD by his client The Wolf in search of a man who may or may not be hiding under the name of Eugenides.

The Man Who Lived In A Vacuum Cleaner has shrunk to a few centimetres tall and become the subject of an Martian sex-periment to re-inflate him.

The Girl With Nine Lives has stopped counting.

The Dwarf With The Horse has migrated into INTERFOLD territory by mistake and finds himself in trouble with Eunuch policemen.

With Martians, Assassins, Bristolians and A Man Who Falls Through Floors, there are no shortage of characters willing to aide or hinder Black in his search. The problem is that he is not the only one who wants Eugenides found, and time is not only against him but is disregarding all the usual rules.

Think Hitchhikers, Catch 22, Sombrero Fall Out, Breakfast Of Champions, The Adventures of Tintin, an episode of Hong Kong Phooey, A splash of Monty Phython and The Wasteland put in a blender and wizzed up into the best of Elmore Leonard and tell me if I am close!

… This is the back of my book upside down

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A short note about Time Travel Hotel (a novel)

9781909136526This novel took a long time to write, and not that long at all. In elapsed linear years from beginning to end was, I will admit, over a decade but as the real writing took place in 4 or 5 intense bursts it was probably less than a year. I will post thoughts and notes on it in the coming weeks and months but the intention of this post is to say. It is finished. It has a kooky cover by the excellent Dominic Brookman and will be published by Burning Eye (who else!) in April.

Here are some words that pretend to describe it:

Black McCarthy is despatched to INTERFOLD – The Time Travel Hotel Republic to track down “Eugenides”. His client, the Wolf, is on his back demanding progress as INTERFOLD keeps shifting time and place, throwing up residency and immigration anomalies as it does so. Help of a kind is on hand via the Dwarf with the Horse, the Man Who Fell Through Floors, the Girl With Nine Lives, the Nurse With The Curse, and Joylin – the INTERFOLD receptionist. But who is Eugenides? The ManWho Lived in a Vacuum Cleaner? The Man Who Dreamt He Was Dreaming? One of the other oddball residents? Is winding up naked in a sauna elevator in the Car Park at Infinity really going to help track him down? Unfortunately for Black, his client is not the only one who wants Eugenides found, Black is possibly the worst detective money can buy and time is not only against him but ignoring all the usual rules. Beneath the black humour, Time Travel Hotel is an exploration of identity and whether we are defined by a place of origin, residence, citizenship or by the decisions that propel us through life. It is a book about regret and missed opportunities. A book about going back – if only you could.

Cutting Up The Economist

In Cutting Up The Economist is a critique of the extraordinary post Lehman Bros. era in a sequence of montage poems composed using headlines from editions of The Economist newspaper published between 2009 and the spring of 2014. The format mirrors that of The Economist itself with sections devoted to Britain, Europe & the Euro crisis, the USA, China etc.The headlines are used intact and strung into narratives within strict confines ‒ only headlines about Britain are used in poems about Britain for instance ‒ or the contents pages of single issues are redacted to reveal hints and hidden truths about the political calamity of the age of austerity. The result is a quizzical re-cast of a dramatic period of ultra recent history shot through with black humour.

ISBN 9781909136335 36pp £5.00 published May 2014. Burning Eye Books.

Sample poems: