Monday, September 10, 2012

New Dedalus Press Website and Podcast RSS

We're very happy to announce a complete (if subtle, ie background) makeover of the Dedalus Press website, which will allow us to add and update content on a more regular basis and also make it easier for us to offer occasional special offers and promotions of new and backlist titles.

During the changeover we had no choice but to relocate the audio and other files for our AudioRoom: New Writing from Ireland podcast. Apple has kindly redirected the link from their iTunes store, but existing subscribers (and of course new subscribers) might like to avail of the new feed, either by visiting the AudioRoom page on iTunes here, or by subscribing through their favourite browser direct here.

The podcast hasn't been updated in some time, while this changeover was being set in place, but we'll be adding new content now on a more regular basis.

"An invaluable new dimension on the Irish studies front", The Irish Times called the first iteration of our AudioRoom, but we hope future episodes will appeal equally to a wider, non-academic audience. Do consider helping us spread the word: poetry matters.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Poetry Submissions: Pinning the Tail on the Donkey

AN ASTONISHING NUMBER of unsolicited manuscripts received already since we posted a notice online some months ago saying that this year we're only going to read unsolicited material during the month of September, if only to try to come up for fresh air now and then.

What continues to be most disappointing about the process of dipping hopefully into the great unknown is just how quickly hopelessness creeps in: how utterly unsuitable so much of it is, either for publishing in general (take my word for it) or for publication by Dedalus Press specifically.

It amazes and disappoints me that so many of those who evidently would like to find a home for their work don't care enough for that same work to bother to see where it might belong or be sympathetically received.

And, perhaps inevitably, the writer who doesn't give his/her work even that small amount of objective attention is as unlikely to come any closer to finding the right home for it as all of the monkeys in all of the world, pushing to get at the last few typewriters left, are likely to ... well, you see where this is going.

In short, if you're one of those poets thinking of gathering your poems to send to this or indeed to any editor or publisher, do yourself a favour (and me, and the ozone layer, etc etc) and read something (anything!) that publisher has published, ever. Whatever else editor/publishers are (with all their faults) they're not people who hide their tastes or preferences, or weaknesses. The clue is in the word 'publish': it's all out there for anyone and everyone to see.

Of course there's good writing hereabouts too, neatly set aside for a better, brighter, quieter morning. But — and here's an odd thing — it's never the authors of the really good stuff that are on the phone two days later, wanting to know immediately when we intend issuing their latest masterpiece. Funny that.

Oh, and which masterpiece might we be talking about here? Well, there's a good chance it's the one covered with thickly markered copyright symbols — just in case this embattled editor might be tempted to steal for himself that wonderful idea for a suite of sonnets on the early recordings of Procol Harum, or a series of limericks treating of the most significant deities of Hinduism.

However it works (and we'd all like to know how to do it, or do it again) the making of poems is as fundamentally related to the process of reading or otherwise ingesting as the making of music is related to partaking in other music. Bad poets, and lazy poets, and chancer poets and simply bewildered creatures who think poetry might help them (and perhaps it might, but no guarantees) can protest for all they're worth, but the truth is: if you're not reading, and reading carefully, you're just playing pin the tail on the donkey, and until you open your eyes you'll always have the sneaking suspicion that the donkey is likely long since gone.

And the reason your friends have nothing much to say to you about it all is that, so long as you're waving a sharp implement around in the air, they're thinking it's probably wiser and safer to keep well back for the moment, thank you very much.

And now, with that off my chest, here's looking forward to next week's express delivery from Parnassus. With all the poetry accumulated in the world over the last few thousand years, there's always the hope (and the possibility) that something new and deserving of attention (maybe even publication) will come along. And even if this particular editor misses it (which he well might), there's always that ideal reader/editor, waiting, listening, wishing, somewhere up the road.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Pat Boran & Grace Wells, readings

Dedalus poet Pat Boran reads from his new collection of poems, The Next Life, at September events in Portumna and Dungarvan.

The Portumna reading, alongside Rita Ann Higgins, takes place at the Shorelines Arts Festival, in the Church of Ireland, Portumna, Co. Galway on Saturday evening 22 September 2012 @ 8.00 pm. with tickets bookable in advance at €8/10.

Full details of this and other events of the  Shorelines Arts Festival may be found on the festival website here.


Alongside fellow Dedalus poet Grace Wells, Boran also reads at the Storytelling Southeast festival in Dungarvan, on Saturday 29 September @ 1.00 pm at the Old Markethouse in the town.

Full details of the festival's many storytelling and story-related events may be found at the festival website here.

3 New Tiltles from Dedalus Press

Tuesday 18th September sees the launch of three new Dedaus Press titles with a launch reading at the Irish Writers' Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, commencing at 7.00 pm.

The Invisible Threshold, by Catherine Phil MacCarthy, A Gather of Shadow by Mark Roper and The Next Life by Pat Boran represent new work by three mid-career poets who have already made significant names for themselves in Ireland and abroad.

The evening will be introduced by Joseph Woods, poet and Director of Poetry Ireland.

As well as being popular writers in their own right, all three poets are also well known for their encouragement of new writers and upcoming voices, facilitating workshops and classes throughout the country. As there is likely to be a sizeable turnout for the event, patrons are advised to note the starting time and perhaps come a few minutes early.