I did a big post of this ilk last year — basically a TiLT on the grand scale, saying “thanks” for all the cool stuff that happened in my life in 2008. It got a great response from all of you, and some of you even followed suit and made your own lists, which I loved reading. So without further ado, here’s my love-letter to 2009. In 2009, I…
* Started up my own small press, Read This Press, and have so far produced four chapbooks: Skin Deep: An Anthology of Poems on Tattoos and Tattooing; You Old Soak: Poems by Chris Lindores; Sharks Don’t Sleep: Poems by Eric Hamilton; and Masters: an anthology of poems by the University of Edinburgh Creative Writing MSc Poetry Class of 2009.
* Was nominated for the Scottish Variety Young Scottish Writer Of The Year Award.
* Kept Read This Magazine going throughout its second year – now plotting a total overhaul to (hopefully) turn it into a far superior publication!
* Started making recycled and upcycled jewellery out of a variety of bits and pieces (but mostly typewriter keys) in order to financially support Read This Press somewhat. I have now found that I love doing this, and set up shop.
* Helped my friend Stefa to set up the this collection project – a collaborative project designed to bring together poets and filmmakers. It’s still in the works so watch this space!
* Celebrated my 23rd birthday by moving flats (yes, I am insane) — I relocated from Edinburgh’s very central Grassmarket to Stockbridge, a little community on the outskirts of the New Town. It feels like living inside a Shirley Hughes book, I love it!
* Went to StAnza Festival for the first time, to see the tall lighthouse poets, Kevin Cadwallender, Alan Gillis, and attend a talk on young Scottish poets. All good stuff!
* Went on my first writerly retreat on the shores of Loch Tay with my MSc classmates.
* Read at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2009
* Also read at: The Bowery Book Club, VoxBox, The Golden Hour, The Golden Hour Book 2 official launch, and a bunch of other places.
* Took up the post of Residency and Education Director at the London Poetry Festival and helped to organise readers and visitors for the 2009 festival.
* Celebrated One Night Stanzas’ first birthday.
* Set up a second shop to get rid of some of my huge vintage clothing collection: Edinburgh Vintage
* Continued my work as a Lecturer in Literature and Communications at Telford College, and did some freelance English and Creative Writing tutoring in my spare time.
* Graduated from my MSc in Creative Writing with distinction, and celebrated by going for high tea at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.
* Started my PhD in Creative Writing and Contemporary Scottish Poetry — if anyone has any info on William Burrough’s stay in Haddington or the Edinburgh Beat scene, let me know!
* Took Read This Press to the StAnza Poetry Market, the Scottish Poetry Library By Leaves We Live fair and the National Library of Scotland Christmas Poetry Pamphlet Fair.
* Started working on a super-top-secret but absolutely huge poetry project… I can’t wait to share it with you!
Magazine publications in 2009: Tontine, Issue 15 // Moloch, Issue 3 // Veto Magazine // Thirteen Myna Birds // The Glasgow Review // The Clearfield Review // Form.Reborn // Stop Buying Stuff // The Cadaverine // a handful of stones // The Chimaera // Tattoosday // Oxypoet // Trespass // Anything Anymore Anywhere // Umbrella
Other publications in 2009:
The Scottish Poetry Library’s 20 Best Scottish Poets of 2008 Anthology // The Scottish Poetry Library’s 20 Best Scottish Poets of 2009 Anthology (forthcoming) // 5Px2: An anthology of poetry in English and Italian // StAnza Festival’s Homecoming Haiku anthology // The Golden Hour Book Vol. 2 // Poetcasting Podcast for Pomeranate Magazine // Edinburgh College Of Art’s “DUO” anthology (collaboration with artist Lizzie Stuart) // Poetry Podcast for the Scottish Poetry Library // Poetry Podcast for Anon Magazine (under “Day 4″) // Vicious Verses and Reanimated Rhymes: Zany Zombie Poetry for the Undead Head // Edinburgh & South East Scotland: A New Edinburgh Travel Guide, ed. Vivien Devlin // The London Poetry Pearl Anthology // The Positivity Blog, // The Secret Society of List Addicts