A blog by Nikki Dudley about the gaps in everyday life...


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Ellipsis in PAPERBACK and event

Hi all!

Ellipsis is coming out in PAPERBACK on Sept 27th 2010. Very exciting! You can read more and buy it on the Sparkling Books site. It is £9.99.

I will also be promoting and signing copies of Ellipsis at Finchley Road Waterstone's on October 16th. It's from 2pm-7pm and I'd welcome anyone popping by to see me or grab a copy.

All very exciting and more info soon...


Thursday, 19 August 2010

Taropoetics by Anna McKerrow - review

I was delighted to hear recently that Anna McKerrow was going to have a chapbook published by The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. Having published her twice in streetcake, I was keen to see more of Anna's writing. I was also curious as to whether the content of her chapbook would be similar to what I have published in streetcake. Turns out, it wasn't. And thankfully, it didn't disappoint.

For Taropoetics, Anna explains at the beginning of her chapbook that the writing process involved consulting five tarot cards shuffled and dealt at random once a week for an entire year. The free-written text was then collated and edited for the chapbook. Inspired by the works of John Cage, Jackson MacLow and Hannah Weiner (if you haven't checked out the mind-bending Clairvoyant Journal, you should!), the influence was quite clear.

The poems; short combinations of words seperated by forward slashes, are very dense. I had to take my time reading them - only devouring a few at a time, before taking a break. However, it doesn't mean I wasn't enjoying them. Quite the opposite, I loved the way they appeared so concrete (like the poetry of Steve McCaffery), yet they were mixed with a certain tenderness. The unusual imagery also reminded me of Maggie O'Sullivan - I'm not going to wax lyrical about these writers- if you want to check them out, then that's great.

So back to the imagery... The images were contradictory, violent, delicate. Some of my favourite sections include:

(13): 'sharp capitals/cut/bring blood through/eye shadow/cheeks sucked in from the top/gaunt fear/list those purple days/soft lashes on bloody barbs/kohl shadow wipe/violet cringe/bloodshot curve...'

(42): 'all my blood for yours/there is nothing left/to give/forgive it all/dim cling to wet coverage/wet walls/thin ground/fire burns surface grass on horizon/dry winds pull above/rakes trails into sand/volcanic space under...'

Sometimes, there is also repetition used in Taropoetics. This in particular adds to the softer moments throughout the chapbook. At first, the format of the poems might seem daunting and you might be tempted to try to fully understand the process behind the poems but please don't - just enjoy the poetry for what it is. Just digest the brilliant images interwoven with language that can be both viscious and tender in the same breath.

Check out more about Anna on her blog

You can buy Anna's chapbook, Taropoetics, for £5 from The Knives, Forks and Spoons Press.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Bookstock event

So Bookstock was last night... A great event organised by The North London Reading Group, of which I am a member of Group 3.

A great line-up of readers.

They included:

Tony Dunn - Comedian, broadcaster and self-confessed book nut Tony Dunn was compère for the night.

Nikki Dudley - (me, obviously!)author of recently published Ellipsis. Has also written a 'chapbook' called exits/origins and co-founded online magazine streetcake.

The Punk and the Princess - punk rocker Bobby Smith appeared with his God fearing, methodist Nigerian wife to tell their story One Love Two Colours: The unlikely marriage of a Punk Rocker & his African Queen.

Penny Rudge - Penny's debut novel Foolish Lessons in Life and Love was published earlier this year.

Leigh Russell - Leigh is the author of crime thrillers featuring DI Geraldine Steel. Last year's debut Cut Short was a runaway success with three reprints in under a year. Recent follow up Road Closed looks set to follow suit.

Rick Senley - Rick is a journalist, photographer and author of ironic Victorian murder mystery Moustache Man - the Deadly Whiskers.

Willesden Green Writers Group - Creative writing collective the Willesden Green Writers Group has published several award-winning anthologies. In What We Were Thinking Just Before The End, Brixton-based and Bridport Poetry Prize-shortlisted Lee Webber contibuted haikus, whilst bushy-beared and Arts Council-funded Bilal Ghafoor gave accounts of his time and travels in Pakinstan. Lily Hyde is a childen's author who has travelled around Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union for the past 10 years.

Here's a video of me reading the first chapter from Ellipsis...

It went quite well overall. I liked seeing the varied range of authors. I particularly enjoyed hearing some poetry from Lee Webber and Bilal Ghafoor's travel accounts were rather strange and interesting - not the usual stuff you hear about and also a very honest account it seemed.

I even sold a book to someone I didn't know so it was worth it just for that. I hope they enjoy it!

Anyway, great event and I hope the North London Reading Group do some more.



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