Adam is a co-director of Cinnamon Press and editor of Cinnamon's Liquorice Fish Books imprint. When he's not editing, designing book covers, or posting blogs here, Adam writes novels and short fiction … published by Cinnamon Press.
We had great fun with our first online launch last Thursday (7 May). Bringing together Omar Sabbagh (debuting his latest, But It Was an Important Failure) from his sitting room Dubai, Edward Ragg (presenting his third collection, Exploring Rights) from a sunny hallway in the North-east of England, and Ian Gregson (launching his new and selected, The Slasher and the Vampire as Role Models) from somewhere in Oxford, we merrily threw unities of time and place in the bin. With a lively audience, also spread around the globe, it was great to hear good poetry and intense discussion.
Many, many thanks to everyone who took part in this year's Poetry Pamphlet Prize. There was an extraordinary range of entries, and a great many of them too — as you'll see by taking a look at the long list. It took a lot of thought to get our post bag down to the five finalists:
We had a great response to the this year's theme. It caught a lot of imaginations and brought in an interesting array of entries, sometimes drawing inspiration from the tree/letter meanings originated by Robert Graves, sometimes taking a side-on approach to each prompt.
It was tougher than usual coming up with a winner for this Literature Prize. The quality of writing in the long list made it almost impossible to draw up a short list and from there choosing the best entry was harder still. This was a big field and it was wonderful to see the range of voices and serious commitment to writing. Many of the manuscripts that didn’t quite make it to the long list were from writers we hope to see future work from, people whose work might have made it further in a less competitive field.
We're very happy to announce the results of this year's competition to get a free slot on our Cinnamon Pencil mentoring scheme. We had a tremendous number of very strong entries, so the sifting and choosing was quite a task.
It's survival is a story of collaboration and generosity from so many people. We run on shoestring budgets, assisted by the fabulous Books Council of Wales, the amazing support and marketing services of Inpress Books and because we've learnt that improvisation is a skill that doesn't only apply to theatre.
August is traditionally our time for stocking taking — many boxes piled in the living room and hallways, books counted (and sometimes re-counted) and titles rearranged on the shelves. It's a time to assess how we're doing and who we are. Taking stock in many ways.
For the last three months I've been lecturing at the University of the West of England, teaching copy writing and professional practice. It's been as much a journey for me as my students, and a tonic, in the twilight of my career, to feel I have something to offer. But more than that, it's been a period of self reflection, for if I've learned one thing about teaching undergraduates, it's that it requires looking as deeply into your own practice as theirs.
When writing poetry, I try to capture meaning, whether it is in joy, wonder or melancholy. I think that a good poem is often understated, allowing the reader space for their imagination to interpret the poem in their own way.
Imagine a book launch that takes in seven countries, 16 venues and has audiences of between 50 and 250 people at each event. Established authors would give their eye-teeth for such a tour, let alone someone who is publishing their debut novel. It sounds too good to be true but I was in seven countries, I did attend all of those events and I was in front of all of those people. This was the because the launch of my book, Humans, Being, coincided with the busiest spring I have had in my 'day' job for years, meaning I have been able to piggyback an unofficial launch tour on to my work-a-day travels.
White Leaves of Peace at Drakes Bookshop, 26th April, 2019
by Tracey Iceton
Having already launched parts one and two of my Celtic Colours Trilogy, I should have felt at ease for the launch of White Leaves of Peace, after all, this was familiar ground to me. But the novel is about what it's been like for those growing up in the north of Ireland since the 1998 Peace Agreement. And, as the novel reveals, that experience has not been the carefree childhood that should have been inevitable in the wake of Good Friday 1998.
We had a huge number of entries to this year's Pamphlet Prize, which made our judge, Ian Gregson's task all the harder. But, eventually, he wrangled the extensive long list down to a seven strong short list: