Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A couple of publication items...

The new issue of Sketchbook is online and ready for viewing.

Also, John Barlow sent this:

Dear haiku, tanka and poetry friends

I’m afraid 2008’s end-of-year missive has an all-too-familiar ring to it: times are tough, for all of us. And while that’s a constant state of affairs for a one-man-band hand-to-mouth small press, as we enter our twelfth year it seems that it has never been more so. We need to sell books to survive, and if there’s no realistic demand for those books, there’s no realistic reason for us to exist. So, if you like what the press does, and would like to see more of it, please consider getting a treat for yourself, or someone else, this holiday season.

In all other ways 2008 has been a great year for the press. In April, Roberta Beary’s debut collection of haiku and senryu, The Unworn Necklace, was honored as a Finalist in the Poetry Society of America’s William Carlos Williams Awards; and, along with Matt Morden’s second collection, Stumbles in Clover, was also honored in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards.

September saw the publication of Wing Beats: British Birds in Haiku, with launches at the Poetry Society’s HQ in London and at Mr B’s, the current British Independent Bookshop of the Year. Thanks to the dedication of Alan and Karen Summers of With Words, these events were packed and greatly enjoyed by all. (Photos can be seen at a new section on the Wing Beats site, www.wingbeats.co.uk/news.html.) Described by the late, and much-missed, Bill Higginson as “a very important book”, and by the eminent writer and naturalist Mark Cocker as “a triumph of seeing, expression and poetic control”, I can honestly say that Wing Beats has been a delight to everyone who has seen it, whether their interest is in haiku, birds . . . or neither of the above! (Please see www.wingbeats.co.uk/the_book/comments.html.)

But don’t believe the hype? Why not get a copy of one of these (or any of our) books for yourself, or as a gift for someone else, and make your own mind up! And then tell me what you (or they) like, what you don’t like, and what you would like to see more of from the press. I may not always be able to reply to every comment or suggestion, especially at busy times, but feedback is always welcome.

Another ‘new’ publication, now in its tenth annual ‘edition’, is The Haiku Calendar 2009. And, if I’m to continue fighting my natural aversion to marketing, this really does make a great Christmas or New Year gift – and not only for haiku poets. It’s perfect for sparking an interest in haiku, or for instilling some understanding in baffled relatives and friends – and it’s far easier to ‘show’ than ‘tell’! For further details please see www.snapshotpress.co.uk/the_haiku_calendar/2009.htm.

There’s still time for Christmas orders. The last order date for the US and Canada is Tuesday December 9; for western Europe it’s Thursday December 11; and for the UK it’s Friday December 19. Orders to the rest of the world may get there if they are placed soon, but aren’t now guaranteed by the postal service. If you would prefer not to order online, get in touch and let me know your payment is forthcoming, and I’ll don the elf suit and make sure the order is sent out immediately.

And, to close: with various haiku commitments November passed me by in blur, but I was honoured to be the featured poet for the month on Mann Library’s Daily Haiku at Cornell University in New York state. So, something for free! 30 haiku (and many, many more by some excellent poets besides) at: http://haiku.mannlib.cornell.edu/category/author/john-barlow

now and again
through wind-flattened grasses the tips
of the hare’s ears

a half moon
all my change
in the beggar’s hand

There are a few tentative plans for the years ahead (please see www.snapshotpress.co.uk), but, as I said, please get involved, and let me know what, in general, you would like to see the press doing.

In the meantime, thank you again for your ongoing support of the press (which, being completely independent, couldn’t otherwise exist).

All the very best for the holiday season, and happy writing and reading in 2009.


John Barlow
Editor, Snapshot Press
e: info@snapshotpress.co.uk
w: www.snapshotpress.co.uk / www.wingbeats.co.uk

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