I went to 2 events -
Sunbathers, Tonight the Summer's Over
I listened to readings by Rory Waterman and Roy Marshall, who've both had books out recently. They're both personable family people with lively senses of humour (though the latter doesn't come out in their poetry as much as one might expect). They complement each other well - at times their styles overlap, though they've taken different routes to poetry (Roy was a "delivery driver, gardener and coronary care nurse, amongst other occupations"; "Dr Waterman lectures in English Literature and Creative Writing", and his father was a poet). I'm not a very patient poetry listener, but I could have handled more from both of them. Rory read the poems that I most like from his book - "Navigating", "Family Business", "To Help the Birds through Winter" etc. Roy gave us some poems from his book, which I bought (the first print run's already sold out!).
They're both active on the poetry scene, the kind of people whose success restores one's confidence in poetry's meritocratic claims. Rory co-edits "New Walk" and has appeared in some prestigious places recently (Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, the Financial Times). I see Roy's name in many of the publications (paper and Web) that I read. The Acknowledgements page of his recent book mentions over 20 publications, and it's worth keeping eyes on his blog.
Reading and Publishing Digital Literature
David Devanny and David Boyes talked about electronic literature. Amongst the points they made were -
- Some people exclude plain e-books from electronic literature, insisting that there be some random/game/choice element, or some use of the WWW.
- Language as Gameplay: toward a vocabulary for describing works of electronic literature by Brian Kim Stefans was recommended
- Stud Poetry by Marko Niemi was shown. It's a commonly shown example
- Money - the "games model" (offering 3 chapters free, for example) works better for fiction than poetry
- Amazon claim that people buy more paper books after they've got a Kindle
- Poets aren't likely to be good coders and artists too, so collaborations are likely
- Readers might not get the most from works unless they look at the code
- Hypertext might not be dead but in itself it's not the answer
- Each interesting new work might almost be a new genre - i.e. necessarily avant-garde
- See Electronic Literature Collection 1 and Electronic Literature Collection 2 for examples
- David Boyes is putting together Blast 2014