Thursday, January 8, 2009

Vanitas/Libellum to Small Publishers Fair, London, October 24-25, 2008

Vanitas magazine & Libellum books was in London for Small Publishers Fair 24th & 25th October. The fair took place at the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. This international fair celebrates books by contemporary artists, poets, writers, composers, book designers, and their publishers, together with a program of readings and talks. With more than 50 publishers taking part there were thousands of books and other editions to browse! The building itself has an interesting history:

The readings in the Brockway Room at Conway Hall were vibrant, including Kyle Schlesinger of featured Cuneiform Press and Charles Alexander of CHAX Press; the launch of The Reality Street Book of Sonnets, with readings by Tim Atkins, Chris McCabe, Alan Halsey, Elizabeth James, Geraldine Monk, Simon Smith, and many more; David Annwn and Martin Corless-Smith; and Vincent Katz reading his poem 'Barge' from a collaborative book with Jim Dine.

Alan Halsey, Geraldine Monk, and Vincent Katz
outside the Columbia Hotel, London, October 24, 2008

There were lots of great books and publishers at the fair. I most enjoyed meeting Charles Boyle, of CB Editions, who was parked next to me and was an excellent companion over the two days of working the books. CB's website is: As well as being a father of twins, Charles is remarkable for his own poetry, which I love, and for his achievement in fiction. He self-published a novel under the pseudonym of a woman, got great reviews for it and calls to enter it in a prize for women's fictions, at which point he finally revealed himself. 24 for 3 by Jennie Walker won the 2008 McKitterick Prize (for a first novel by a writer aged over 40), and is now published by Bloomsbury. Yay, Charles!

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