e a m harris

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Archive for the tag “Chuffed Buff Books”

A new online magazine with 100 haiku

Kigo mag cover artFor all you haiku fans, here’s a link to a new online magazine Kigo: Seasonal Words – available to download free.

It contains four of my haiku, which, of course, makes me really happy, but that’s not why I recommend it. It has 96 other haiku and they are a wonderful collection.

This first issue is a Winter/Spring one, but having a restricted subject matter has not restricted the poets. There are so many ways of looking at a season; many of them I wouldn’t have been able to think of ever. A formal poetry style, a restricted subject, but so much variety.

The human brain has so many manifestations – if all the 8 billion people in the world sat down and wrote a haiku about winter no two of them would be the same. And yet in all that difference almost all those 8 billion people respond to poetry. Behind the diversity is an underlying sharing.

Those who write haiku, tanka or haiga may be interested to know that the publishers, Chuffed Buff Books, are now taking submissions for the summer issue.

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Cities

Cities coverYesterday I picked up my copy of Cities: A Book of Poems, an anthology compiled by S Philip. It has one of my poems in it, and it’s nice to see my work in print on a freshly opened page.

But I didn’t buy it just for that; as an ex-Londoner and urbophile, I was keen to see what other poets had made of the subject. The answer is – lots. The pages of the book are crowded with lovers, haters and indifferenters of cities. They work, play, run, stroll, take photos and do a lot of remembering.

Leah Angstman describes the fine detail of a season in memory (Autumn on Oak Street), while Barbara Wiedemann introduces us to the homeless (Urban Homesteading) and Pearse Murray has a city full of noise and ghosts (Timbral City). Others give us stories covering years or records of moments in time. I’ll enjoy dipping into this book for some time to come.

Columns and pages – a different look and feel

cover art

For National Short Story Day, Chuffed Buff Books put a series of short story extracts on their website. They are from their recent anthology, You, Me & a Bit of We, and included an extract from my story, Last Funeral but Two.

Natch I went to the site to read the extracts. When reading mine, for a moment I thought they’d changed it. Then I realised that this feeling came from seeing it in a wide column instead of a whole page.

I’m used to seeing my work in pages on screen and on paper, but I’ve never seen it in column form and I was surprised at what a difference that made. The whole feel of the story changed for me – it felt more abrupt and ‘temporary’ and the short lines meant I read it faster but more superficially than usual.

What sort of difference would it make to have it appear as an illustrated manuscript, on a tiny mobile screen, in multiple columns on a scroll one unwound while reading like the ancient Romans had? Is the kind of literature written partly a response to the kind of layout and materials available? I doubt if I’ll ever know, but it’s interesting to speculate that I could make an undying classic just by writing on papyrus.

Arrived in the post

YMEWEBcov

Today I received my copy of You, Me & a Bit of We, edited by S Phillip and published by Chuffed Buff Books. It’s an anthology of 42 short and flash stories told in first or second person.

One reason I have the book is that it includes one of my stories, and this is the first time my work has appeared in a book.

I know what my story says, but finally I get to read the others (the publishing process has taken months). I’ve only had time to read a few of the stories so far, but I’m thrilled to be in such great company. All the pieces I’ve read have been striking and original and I’ve already had several of the ‘I wish I could write like that’ moments.

One thing that surprises me is that women contributors hugely outnumber men. Is the short story a female genre? Does the editor prefer women’s subjects? Are men not submitting their work? With Alice Munro the new Nobel Laureate for Literature, the short story is coming to the fore big time. I hope the men aren’t going to miss out on the opportunities for getting their work noticed.

A milestone for me

Yesterday I reached a main point in my writing career – I signed and sent back a licencing agreement for a short story.

you me etc cover art

Coming soon

This may not sound like much, but, although several of my poems and stories have been published (see the Top People links on my side-bar for those wonderful magazines that have websites), I’ve never had an actual agreement before.

The story will appear in an anthology You, Me & a Bit of We: A celebration of writing in the first and second person from Chuffed Buff Books. It’ll be available in paperback and ebook.

It’s an interesting concept. I’ve never read any stories in a ‘we’ voice and rarely in ‘you’; I’m looking forward to discovering what the other contributors make of them.

Already published

Already published

Chuffed Buff have other anthologies out, including one of women’s poetry, Journey to Crone.

This will, IMO, resonate with many women’s experience. It looks at the traditional life passage from maiden to mother to crone.

Crone is not the negative life-stage many associate with the word. It’s the stage of wisdom, knowledge and clear-sightedness. The idea is commonly found in the pagan faith community, but also in others that emphasise respect for elders.

Other writers may find Chuffed Buff calls for submissions of interest. One is for a poetry anthology, Poetry & The City, and one for science fiction novellas/novellettes.

Anthologies devoted to a theme often bring about a rethink and reassessment of their subject. It’s like putting a concept under a magnifying glass and peering at its detail.

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