Yesterday I attended part of Cinnamon's 10th anniversary roadshow. Jan Fortune entertainingly and informatively introduced 4 writers -
- Jane Monson was the only writer I knew about. She read from The Shared Surface which I'd already read. Sometimes when I hear a poem I can appreciate it in way that I couldn't on the page. I don't think that happened in this case. The book's promoted as prose poetry, though I think I need to listen to them as if it's poetry, and I think having the text before me would help.
- Adam Craig read from his novel "Vitus Dreams". It's no ordinary novel. On the night I think it was described as experimental. In the past I would have leapt at the chance to read such a piece. At the moment however, I'm avoiding such challenges. I note that he's going to publish a collection of collection of micro-fictions, which I'll look forward to. Both he and Jane Monson operate on the prose/poetry border, a zone I'm exploring with short pieces too.
- Maria Apichella read from "Paga" (Winner of the Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize 2014, adjudicated by Ian Gregson). These were the night's most accessible poems. One was a love poem to her husband (who was present) written before they'd met.
- Laura Seymour read from "The Shark Cage". She's finished her Ph.D (on Shakespeare and cognition) whereas Maria Apichella's still doing hers. Though I couldn't take it all in, there was much imagery that sounded interesting, and it wasn't at the expense of a sort of narrative, so I bought her book. Flicking through, I'm impressed.
It would be wrong to deduce from this that all Cinnamon's prose is experimental (some of it isn't even very "literary"). Nor do all their poets have Ph.Ds. What helps keep the range fresh is that several of the books were chosen by external judges.