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Getting Excited About Two New Books

August 20, 2018

It’s been a very hectic summer and there’s no chance of a holiday in the foreseeable future. Instead of a lazy ‘end of summer’ bank holiday weekend I’m doing 3 markets back to back: the Corn Hall Cirencester on Saturday (I’m in danger of becoming a regular), and one off outdoor markets Pettycoat Lane in the High Street Malmesbury and the Village Fair in High Street Lacock.

No one can accuse me of not putting effort in selling books. It’s a pleasure to run the bookstall because of the direct feedback you get from customers and I’m really looking forward to introducing our loyal readers to two new additions which will hit the bookstall in the autumn.

First up is The Houses Along the Wall – a Pembrokeshire poetry cycle by Karen Hayes published on 20 September. Over the nearly twenty years of holidaying in Pembrokeshire, Karen wrote poems which create a fictional history for sixteen of the houses along the Parrog near Newport.

The poems celebrate the landscape and the Welsh community and I think they are absolutely amazing. Well, no need to take my word for it, this is what Ian McMillan tweeted:

Enjoying this new collection from í¢ŒŒ_@HollandParkPresí¢ŒŒ©; Karen Hayes imagines biographies and backstories for sixteen houses. ‘These buildings, dark as petrels in a storm,/Still cling to the sea wall…’

I hope you agree with me that Andrew Cox from Reactive Graphics has produced a stunning cover.

For the past two weeks we have been checking the layout proofs for our second new title Live Show, Drink Included– Collected Stories by Vicky Grut published on 5 October. It’s now in perfect shape and I have just signed off the final proofs.

Intrigued by the title? You should be and this is how Alexei Sayle puts it: ‘Some are dark and disturbing tales of lives viewed from under the mad end of a microscope, others are more of a glimpse of lives gone sideways.’

Yet again Andrew Cox captures the mood with this atmospheric cover.

Two quite special titles. Why? They are debut collection, yet most of Vicky Grut’s stories have been published in literary magazines and anthologies and some of Karen Hayes’ poems have been set to music. These two women writers have honed their art over the (around twenty) years, and it shows in the quality, profoundness and very own style of their writing.

Karen and Vicky also wrote the winning entry in our  2017 and 2015 competitions. Taking the number of authors we found through our competitions to four. Not bad if you consider that we have been running an annual competition since 2010.

Talking about competitions: don’t forget about our Brixit in Poetry competition which closes on the 31 December 2018.