#Blog Tour | FAIRY ROCK: A CRIME NOVEL IN VERSE by Stephen Watt @StephenWattSpit (September 21st 2019) @RedSquirrelPres @LoveBooksGroup

Thank you very much to Kelly @ Love Books Group and Stephen Watt for providing a copy of the book to [K]

The review below is 100% honest and all of her own views.

Blurb:

In 2017 Andrew Smith, then Director, now Chair of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, came up with a dynamic idea to run a Twitter campaign inviting poets to pitch an idea and the winner would have a poetry pamphlet published by the SWC’s publisher partner, Red Squirrel Press. Poet, critic, essayist, editor, designer and typesetter Gerry Cambridge, poet Sheila Templeton, writer, musician and Editor of both Postbox Press (the literary fiction imprint of Red Squirrel Press) and Postbox International Short Story Magazine, Colin Will, and myself took part in a panel at the SWC, ‘How to get published’ in October 2017. Andrew received many entries, a shortlist was drawn up, Stephen Watt subsequently won and persuaded me to publish a full-length collection.

— Sheila Wakefield, Founding Editor, Red Squirrel Press

Glasgow is correctly lauded for its wonderful characters and hospitality but at the turn of the Millennium it was dubbed the ‘Murder Capital of Europe’ with sectarian divisions and organised crime rife in the city. Four of its natives have been raised around the city’s Bridgeton area, cultivated by its ill-omened beliefs, and now have to separately find a way to subsist. But one crime family firmly believes in the tradition of torture and a novel way of disposing of its detractors. Who will emerge smelling of roses—or end up pushing the roses up from the earth below?

‘This is crime fiction in the raw. So noir that even the white bits are black. Stephen Watt’s verse brilliantly reclaims crime writing for the streets in a visceral, eye-watering yet poignant social commentary that knows its mark and hits like a kick in the stanes or a smack in the gub. Never mess with poets.’

— Craig Robertson, Crime author

Review:

Not being much of a poetry reader when the opportunity appeared to read a crime novel in verse I jumped at the chance to read something different and I was not disappointed.

This is a dark and gritty story that is set in the underbelly of Glasgow. I found this to be a very well written story especially as it was written in verse. I hope this will be turned into an audiobook as I do enjoy verses being read.

If you want something different from your crime thrillers, please pick up this book.

[K]

Author Bio:

Stephen Watt was born in the Vale of Leven in 1979. His awards include first prize in the Poetry Rivals Slam, the StAnza International Digital Poetry Slam, and the Tartan Treasures award. Notable collections which he has curated include the Joe Strummer Foundation collection Ashes To Activists (2018) and the James Watt bicentenary booklet Horsepower (2019). He is Dumbarton Football Club’s Poet-in-Residence and was appointed the Makar for the Federation of Writers (Scotland) in 2019. He lives in Dumbarton with his wife Keriann and pug Beanz.

You can buy Fairy Rock from the publisher Red Squirrel Press

here

#CoverReveal | I CAN SEE THE LIGHTS by Russ Litten @RussLitten (February 2020) @Wildpressed @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

Blurb

The prose poems in I Can See The Lights are earthy and raw, but also incredibly sensitive. It’s pretty much guaranteed that more than one of them will bring you to tears. Characters are vividly brought to life, and stark but warm environments evoked in a down to earth, yet almost painterly manner by Russ Litten’s uncompromising voice.

Tales of home, of un-belonging, of strife at sea – of a northern city’s beating heart. Told in a mesmeric, stripped-down tone, this collection is a work of genius.

Author Bio

Russ Litten is the author of the novels Scream If You Want To Go FasterSwear DownKingdom and the short story collection We Know What We Are.

As one half of the electronic storytelling duo Cobby and Litten, he has released three spoken word/electronica albums My People Come From The SeaBoothferry and Pound Shop Communism.

He has written for TV, radio and film and has worked as a writer in residence at various prisons and youth offender units. I Can See The Lights is his first poetry collection.

#NationalPoetryDay @PoetryDayUK

Hello everyone, [K] here. Happy National Poetry Day!

Did you know it is the 25th National Poetry Day in the UK today?

National Poetry Day is a UK-wide celebration of poetry taking place every October. Each year there’s a different theme and in 2019 the theme is Truth.

The annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. Everyone is invited to join in, whether by organising events, displays, competitions or by simply posting favourite lines of poetry on social media using #nationalpoetryday.


The Origins of National Poetry Day

Forward Arts Foundation was created in 1991 by William Sieghart, the founder of the publisher Forward Worldwide, now known as Bookmark. A poetry-lover, he wanted an anthology containing the best poetry of the year. Since none existed, in 1992, he published one himself.

The contents of the first Forward Book of Poetry were chosen over 1991/1992 by the five judges of the first Forward Prizes for Poetry, including Sir Stephen Spender, Margaret Drabble and Roger McGough. The Forward Book and Forward Prizes attracted both people who did not know where to begin with contemporary poetry, and die-hard poetry readers.  The Forward Prizes’ power to make reputations is comparable to that of the Man Booker Prize.

In 1994, Sieghart founded National Poetry Day, a day of mass celebration of all things poetical which was taken up enthusiastically by schools, libraries, the media and even railway stations. Since then, the campaign has increased its impact: worked closely with schools, libraries, booksellers and retailers, joining with BBC Local Radio to commission new poems celebrating the nation’s different regions. National Poetry Day now reaches over 500 million people annually, through its booktrade promotion of new poetry, its NPD ambassadors, its publications, its posters, badges, bookmarks, its educational resources and its network of partner organisations and activists. It is particularly popular on social media, where the hashtag #nationalpoetryday and the invitation to share a line of poetry prove a winning combination.


If you wish to read some of the poems on offer on the website please click the button:

Now I have been know to dabble with reading a bit of poetry (I read Dante’s The Divine Comedy) and can quote some very small parts of poems – “I wander lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er vales and hills” unfortunately I have not yet found a favourite yet.

Is there any that you recommend I try?

Is there any posted on the National Poetry Day website you think I should read? (Click the button above to be taken to the website)

Please let me know in the comments below!