As Long as it Takes
Our first book of 2014 is Maria C McCarthy’s story collection As Long as it Takes. Maria will be launching the book at the University of Kent on 12 February at 6.00 p.m In Keynes SCR. It will be a short story kind of evening with guest readers Maggie Harris, author of Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning, and Maggie Drury, reading the title story of Unexplored Territory. There will also be a song from Jamie McCarthy. Entry is £2, which includes a glass of wine. Here’s more about the book:
As Long as it Takes gives voice to the lost generation of Irish women who sailed to England to look for work in the middle of the twentieth century. Maura Flaherty and her daughters struggle with identity, belonging, love, sexuality and grief – and dilemmas such as whether to like punk or Elvis.
With no concessions to nostalgia or sentimentality, this deeply moving and beautifully written book, by a second-generation Irish writer, tells the interwoven stories of an immigrant family. Maria C. McCarthy skilfully weaves the historical and cultural significance of Anglo-Irish relations into a half-century of family life.
As Long as it Takes is now available to order at £10 per copy plus p&p. Postage is free if you purchase two or more copies of any Cultured Llama books. Order here.
Maggie Harris – a love affair with Canterbury
Maggie Harris writes about how her love affair with Canterbury on her blog, The Practical Poet. In ‘Canterbury and me’ Maggie talks about her writing life is tied up with the city and the east Kent area. Here’s a quote:
‘The Penny Theatre inspired the title story of my short story collection Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning, way back when. My first publications occurred during my time there, by Virago and littleBrown, Wasafiri. I ran towards the writing world like the Prince slashing Sleeping Beauty’s forest. setting up and attending Poetry events and running workshops. One day, riding the train into the city I was filled with the thoughts of two prizes I had entered for – The TS Eliot at Kent, and The Guyana Prize for Literature, wondering if I stood a chance of winning either. Fate and luck offered me both.’
Maggie is celebrating her 60th birthday in February. Look out for a special 50% birthday discount on Canterbury Tales on a Cockcrow Morning during February.
A follow-up volume of stories, In Margate by Lunchtime, is due from Cultured Llama in June 2014. Expect tales of modern-day smugglers, incomers, flamingos, and mermaids on Vestas.
MsLexia – poetry is ‘The New Rock and Roll’
Cultured Llama features in an article about poetry publishing in the latest issue of MsLexia. Danuta Kean describes poetry publishing as ‘The New Rock and Roll’, whereby poets wishing to publish a first collection must build up a reputation for performance, readings and publications of poems in journals before approaching publisher.
The article features the beautiful cover of Rose Cook’s Notes From a Bright Field.
Rose is a good example of the rock and roll poet! She has a following in the West Country, and regularly takes part in events with Apples and Snakes and many other poetry events. All of our authors are active performers of their work, many travelling around the country to spread the word about their books.
Cultured Llama plans, and a broader range of books
In December, we were fortunate to have business guru Peter Cook visit Cultured Llama HQ to help us plan for the future. Expect special offers, box sets and a broader range of books. A word or two about the first of our cultural non-fiction titles:
Stephen Morris’s Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway tells the story of how a collection of small towns in the north of Kent have produced more than their fair share of bands and musical artists. Mixing oral history with profiles of the best singles, EPs and albums to come out of the Medway Towns, Do It Yourself is an indispensable guide to the places that brought you Billy Childish, The Dentists and Lupen Crook.
Do It Yourself: a History of Music in Medway is due for publication this summer.
Sounds of the Real World – a launch and a re-launch
Finally, a word about Gordon Meade’s Sounds of the Real World. The book was launched at The Chapel, Broadstairs in November – without Gordon. He felt unwell on his journey and was taken off in an ambulance as the event began. He was later diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. The event went ahead nonetheless. Perhaps the first book launch of a living author without the author!
Gordon also had to turn down an invitation to meet the Queen. He had been invited to a reception for British poets at the Palace, but spent the evening recovering at home instead. The invitation to meet the Queen may not be repeated, but we shall be inviting Gordon to re-launch Sounds of the Real World as soon as he is better. You can buy a copy of Sounds of the Real World here.