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.
Not long now until the much anticipated launch of Ashley Lloyd Smith's debut novel, Pizza with Jimbob & Twoforks, at Derby Waterstone's on 1 October — "amazement" is promised(!), so it's a launch not to be missed.
Ahead of the official launch of The Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction in Paris at the end of the month, here's an extract from Tamsin Hopkins' fascinating and revealing article in the Review investigating her approach to writing short fiction…
At Cinnamon Press we love books. We adore poetry and fiction, literature that defies genre and books that take risks. We find writers with distinctive voices who have something real to say exciting to work with. So what would make an independent press in love with words and story declare we don't want good books?
The twice-yearly writing courses at Ty'n y Coed, near Conwy, has become a firm fixture in the Cinnamon calendar. This November's autumn course was fantastic example of why the courses are so important to our ethos: eight writers coming together to find support and inspiration, each of them making a breakthrough with the work and leaving with a stronger commitment to writing than they had are the start of the week. But don't take my word for it. Here's Diane Woodrow's take on her time at Ty'n y Coed this November.