Friday, 31 January 2014

the powers that been

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Funny Valentine

On Friday 14th February I will be taking part in an evening of poetry and jazz organized by Paris Lit Up, hosted by the Atelier Sainte Marthe and featuring the Italian jazz quintet, Omit Five.  I will be joined on the poetry side of things by Annie Brechin, Dareka Daremo and Winona Linn.  Admission is free, donations are encouraged and purchases (books, drinks, CDs) are all but obligatory….

Doors open at 20:00, the event starts at 21:00 and full details can be found here.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Eyewear crowd funding hits 40%

Eyewear's WeFund campaign to pre finance an anthology of poetry called The Poet's Quest for God is a week old and has breezed past the 40% mark.  This is good news for Eyewear - who discovered recently that they had lost all of their funding for the coming year - and good news for those who have already contributed as they will be receiving a copy of the anthology at a special discount rate of £15.  There are still 100 copies of the anthology available but at the standard price of £20.

Eyewear Publishing is that rare beast in the poetry world: a small independent publisher but with top-notch production and distribution standards.  This means that their books look great and also manage to find their way out of the online poetry ghetto and into real brick and mortar bookshops.  They are well worth supporting so please do consider contributing to their crowd-funding campaign and/or buying a book from their back catalogue.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Poet's Quest for God

Eyewear Publishing in the UK will be bringing out an anthology later this year called The Poet's Quest for God.  It promises to be a fascinating book not just because of the quality and number of poets included but also because the editorial line has been to include poets of all faiths and none, so agnostics and atheists rub shoulders with the true believers.  So far as I am aware no previous anthology has done this so kudos to them.

They are currently running a crowd funding campaign at WeFund.  Donations of £15 or more get you a copy of the book, a nice discount on the £19.99 cover price.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Everything is free now

For those who read French, here is a thought-provoking article by William van den Broek about how to go about remunerating intellectual activity in the digital age.  It is worth reading the comments at the bottom too which explore possible alternative solutions.

My worry about freely distributed intellectual production is that while it is free in the sense that no transaction takes place between the producer and the consumer of the art work it is nevertheless not genuinely free - the social medias by which we distribute and consume material freely are all used to gather information and sell advertising.  I've not necessarily got anything against that - the pros to me seem to outweigh the cons - but we should at least call a spade a spade and acknowledge that by consuming art "freely" we are (indirectly) paying.  And paying people who don't really need the money.

One solution I have always favored is to make the objects in which intellectual production is housed as beautiful as possible.  That way people will pay for the object even though they could theoretically get hold of its content for free and all the people who have participated in its creation will receive some remuneration.

If you want to take part in this alternative economy by buying a beautiful book AND getting hold of some free intellectual property then go and order one of the exquisite hand-made chapbooks that are put out by Greying Ghost Press in Salem, Massachusetts.  My poem "A week, a year, whatever" will be included as a free hand-out with every purchase.  And I promise you that neither I nor any multinationals will earn a penny.  Ora et Labora…

Friday, 10 January 2014