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News and Events Archive

Events 2015  |  Events 2014  |  Events 2013  |  Events 2012  |  Events 2011  |  Events 2010  |  Events 2009  |  Events 2008  |  Events 2007  

 

News and Events 2015

Including “Meet the Author”, the first of an occasional series in which Brimstone writers introduce themselves.

May

  • Pam Kelly’s 7th Brimstone book, Closer to the Edge, was launched at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, to an enthusiastic audience. In an excellent review The Fine Times Recorder called it “a topical, brave and deeply moving collection from a poet who gives voice to the eternal emotions and experiences of our lives, fearlessly but with warmth and generosity, anger and dark humour.”
    See the full review.
  • Sebastian Hayes has a new essay, on poet Roger Hunt Carroll, on the SHORTER WORKS page.
  • Sebastian, with fellow Brimstone author Keith Walton, has developed the website tesseraemundi.wordpress.com. “Tesserae are the small tiles that make up the picture in a mosaic. Our tesserae are short pieces, each on a single topic, illuminating from an angle the topic. Like tesserae, we intend that these pieces together gradually make up the picture of a world.” Topics so far range from ‘Not Doing’ to ‘Arthur Rimbaud’, ‘Time’ to ‘Bob Dylan’. New topics are being added.
  • This summer Keith Walton is cycling the length of the Paris meridian, La Meridienne Verte, from Dunkirk to Barcelona. Follow him on meridienneverte.co.

Meet the Author

Jenny Johnson – Update

During the last year, I have sold a number of copies of my latest book, published by Brimstone Press – Selected Poems: Revised & New – and have given several readings from it. A few months ago, I took part in a celebration of writers who have a connection with East Devon; I also read several of my poems at a social gathering in an Exmouth Hotel. My husband, Noel Harrower, and I arranged a poets’ afternoon in a local church hall, which a variety of writers attended, some from outside the area.

Two photographers have taken a particular interest in my work: one used my poem Wester Ross as part of his thesis on Scotland; the other is a member of a photography group that is animating a recently written poem of mine: this will accompany a film about Exmouth and be entered into an international competition. I enjoy working alongside people from other areas of the arts.

At present, I am contacting universities in American and Canada with a view to offering undergraduates who are studying British poetry a free on-line dialogue about my creative process. Later on, I intend to approach other countries where English is the main language – such as Australia and New Zealand. The one condition is that either the university department or the student agrees to buy one copy of my book!

Already, proceeds from the sale of my books have been sent to an educational foundation in Ghana: about a dozen schoolchildren and one university student have benefited. The £350 that I sent goes a long way in West Africa! For more details of the charity, you might like to visit this website: www.tamensahfoundation.org

John Pollard – How I became an Author

I first started story-telling at the age of 7 – in 1940, shortly after the beginning of WWII. I was living at the time in Great Crosby, a suburb of Liverpool, and attending a Preparatory School in nearby Waterloo. The Luftwaffe’s intensive air raids on Liverpool docks had just begun and, during the School day, there were frequent air raid warnings. The School staff had no provision for such events and, at first, we were told to leave our work books on our desks and retire immediately to the underground air raid shelter, which had been dug some time previously. Sitting there in the gloom with a teacher with no idea what to do, I started telling made-up stories to relieve the boredom. I cannot remember now what they were about, but I do remember being asked on subsequent trips to the shelter to tell another story. So they must have been entertaining for my fellow classmates! Very soon, however, the School authorities realised that these conditions were going to be the norm in future not exceptional, so the lighting in the shelters was improved and we were required to take our work books down to the shelters with us and normal classes were resumed. That was the end of my “Day in the Sun”! It was some years before I recommenced “Creative Writing”, as I believe it is now called.

Later, after marriage and parenthood, I submitted an article to the Manchester Evening News on the tribulations of a first-time parent. To my surprise they printed it, and paid me for it! Emboldened, I started making up bedtime stories for my daughter and son. Some 5 years earlier I had, as part of my final Officer training during National Service, been sent to shooting camp at Tonfanau in Mid-Wales, between Barmouth (which then still had a railway) and the mountain Cader Idris (the second highest mountain in Wales) and during my stay got to know the area reasonably well. My stories were fantasies about an engine called “Puff -puff” who worked out of Barmouth Junction, and included a truly miraculous rescue of a passenger train from a flood. I still have some notes of these stories, but gave up any thought of seeking publication as about this time the books by Rev Awdry appeared. I knew the market was not big enough for both of us, and though my stories were completely different, being a lawyer I reckoned there was a threat of copyright action!

For many years as a company secretary and Parish Clerk I utilised my writing skills in producing minutes, reports and correspondence on a wide variety of subjects. It was not until I finally retired in 2002 that I went back to creative writing. As a classical scholar at school I had been fascinated by the stories of Queen Helen of Sparta (who allegedly eloped to Troy with Prince Paris), and Hercules (a thick bully). I did not believe either of these stories. First, in Book 4 of The Odyssey, Helen is depicted as sitting amicably alongside her husband Menelaus entertaining Odysseus’ son, Telemachus. I could not imagine a cuckolded husband of that period treating a wife who had walked out on him with such respect. So, what really happened? The Celts are reported to have revered and respected Hercules, not for his brute strength, but for his oratory. Why? My research found the answers to these questions, and my books tell what I believe is the true story of both of these heroes.

My third book, In Search of the Celts, published by Brimstone Press, arose out of the research I carried out for my first two books. I began to wonder what became of those who survived the Trojan War. Apart from Odysseus, the only one given much space in Classical literature is Aeneas, who is said to have founded Rome – only of course he couldn’t have, he was about 500 years too early! So, what really happened? One clue was that by 500BC a “new” force in the North Mediterranean area, (and already considered formidable) had emerged, called the Celts. Nobody seemed to know where they came from. Could these people be the answer I was seeking? I resolved to investigate. My book is the result, which includes chapters about possibly the two greatest military geniuses of all time, Hannibal and Julius Caesar.
J H Pollard ©


 

News and Events 2014

October

New author Gavin Bantock

We are very pleased to welcome Gavin Bantock as a new member. Gavin is a Japan-based writer, director and educator of wide-ranging scope and achievement. See his biography for a summary. He is prize-winning poet, with several volumes published by Anvil Press. He has lived and worked in Japan for over forty years, and published many books there. His list with Brimstone will include both new work, including three new books of poetry (forthcoming), and several works originally published in Japan, including The Old Woman of the Sea, and Third Form at St Claire's, now available.

Gavin is an enthusiast for our brimstoneauthors.com website, and has already contributed a typically incisive 'Essay on Writing Poetry', with insights of value for any poet. Why not join in the debate? Sebastian Hayes already has, with his essay 'What makes a Good Poem?' There are also several new pieces by Sebastian, and contributions from Keith Walton. Send any contributions to the General contact on our contact page.

Excellent sales of Mike Oldfield biography

Brimstone author Chris Dewey tells us that his biography Mike Oldfield – A Life Dedicated to Music has now sold 1000 copies in hardback, and 500 as an ebook - not bad for a book retailing at £30! A case of the right book, the right market, and the right marketing - and a lot of hard work! Read Chris' excellent Introduction to Ebooks on brimstoneauthors.com.

"Are self-published books really that awful?"

Writes Chris Sledge, Brimstone author and publisher, and continues: "Well, here’s someone who clearly thinks so and who uses the magazine he publishes to air his views":

'Don’t talk to me about self-published books.
I can spot a self-published book at 40 paces. The Jiffy bag is probably recycled and Sellotaped within an inch of its life. The writing on the label - stuck over the previous addressee - is copperplate. Inside are clippings of local coverage the author has managed to garner in local bookshops and schools. One can’t help the feeling that they said nice things to make him - and it’s usually a him - go away.
And now that it’s easier than ever to self-publish, anyone with a reasonable budget and the dedication to type their memoirs/poetry/entertaining story for children (delete as appropriate) can do so. But oh my heart churns as I wonder how much time, money and effort has been lavished on this?
Covers are cartoons, pictures by friends - often slightly out of focus - or line drawings amateurishly trying to illustrate the authors’s vision. How many of these were put on a shelf in an actual bookshop and viewed from the other side of the space to genuinely judge how visible it is against the competition? Is the title at the top of the cover, or lost at the foot? Is the spine legible if not shelved out?
There is a reason for the existence of publishers - quality control. And all that’s before you start to read …'

"The author of this pernicious stuff is Guy Pringle, publisher of New Books magazine, a respected and well presented journal. He goes on to make an exception to his general condemnation of self-published books by recommending a novel by an author called Douglas Westcott, saying loftily that it 'feels and smells like a proper book.'

"Brimstone didn’t care for this sort of attack. The full article, with my response, and the subsequent 'exchange of views', can be read on the News page of brimstoneauthors.com. Brimstone is a naughty animal; when it is attacked it defends itself."

Anyone else care to express a view? Email the General contact on our contact page.

 

May

Ixtlan Books

You may have noticed a new menu item on the left - Ixtlan Books. Ixtlan Books has been started by Brimstone author and ex-Director, Sebastian Hayes. He aims to concentrate mainly on ebooks and talking books.

So far, Ixtlan Books has brought out as an ebook an updated edition of his Brimstone title The Foundling & Other Stories. This is available from Amazon. If you do not have a Kindle reader, you can download the kindle app free from Amazon, and have the book on your computer.

Ixtlan Books has an entirely separate legal and commercial identity from Brimstone Press but, as Sebastian puts it, "will maintain a literary ‘umbilical cord’ with Brimstone.”

Please note that Sebastian’s personal website www.sebastianhayes.co.uk, for some time closed due to ‘phishing’ , is once more up and running. He also hosts www.ixtlanart.co.uk where reproductions of some of his pastels are on display, also www.ultimateeventtheory.com where he is developing a new scientific paradigm, ‘Eventrics’.

Sebastian Hayes' stimulating essay "What Makes a Good Poem" is now on brimstoneauthors.com - essential reading for all poets. Our authors' website is an excellent forum on which to have your say. Items for that website are always welcome - email them to us at Brimstone Press.

If authors have a personal website, send details and we will be pleased to publicise them on this page.

John Dewey's new books

Following the publication in 2010 of Mirror of the Soul, his critically acclaimed biography of the Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev, Brimstone author John Dewey has been busy translating contemporary Russian fiction. Last year his translation of Irina Muravyova's novel Day of the Angel was published by Thames River Press (http://www.thamesriverpress.com/Book/10100/Day-of-the-Angel.html: click on 'Amazon' to read an extract). John recently attended the London Book Fair to give two presentations on the book together with the author.

Brimstone Press will shortly be publishing the Selected Poems of Fyodor Tyutchev as a follow-up to the biography. This will include 100 of Tyutchev's best lyrics in John Dewey's verse translations, which have already earned praise from the critics: "impressive... give the non-Russian speaker a real sense of the originals"; "high poetic quality"; "certainly convey to the general reader the thrust of Tyutchev's poetry and offer an idea of its greatness". With a 35-page Introduction outlining Tyutchev's life and the world view expressed in his verse, together with informative Notes on the individual poems, at £6.99 including free P&P in the UK this collection offers an accessible and affordable introduction to the work of a major figure in world literature.

Jenny Johnston - excellent review

Jenny Johnson’s Selected Poems - Revised and New received a very favourable review in the January 2014 edition of Acumen, from which the following are a few extracts:

“What strikes you immediately is how timeless this poetry is. It scarcely matters when it was written, for we are always in a land of music and imagination; and haunted by a unique atmosphere. There is a slow pulsing rhythm, spread over free verse lines of variable lengths, which always makes these poems, which rarely fill a full page, seem much longer than they are in reality. Parallels come to mind as different as the music of Anton von Webern and the poetry of Walter de la Mare; but Jenny Johnson is like neither, except in the quiet other world that she creates out of her meditation for our meditation:

“Dreaming all the while, I drop, drop downward into the renovating night”

Some of the best poems deal with moments of intense stress, but not necessarily in Johnson’s own life. Often children are in communication with older people who are passing out of this life, or themselves are in a state of childish angst. Not infrequently people in asylums or institutions behave a touch oddly, as in ‘Ancient and Modern’ or ‘Catharsis’. And yet are these apparently real poems, realistic at all, for they always have a touch of dream vision? Johnson’s poetry at its best reflects life as it is; and yet it is brightened by a strong light of vision. Johnson’s line in ‘Derelict: “the wind without code on the birdless tree” for me captures much of the delight and difficulty of this fine book. Like the wind she dances, but not to the approved measures.

Newspaper write-up for A Garden Centre Calendar

Marilyn Norvell’s very practical book A Garden Centre Calendar has been well written up in her local press at Bridport. This is another book, of a very different kind, which has claims to timelessness - we get the same seasons every year, even if not quite the same weather - so the advice in the book doesn’t decay or lose relevance. As she says: “If you are interested in turning your lawn into a productive vegetable patch or growing plants to attract wildlife, the book suggests suitable plants. A bonus will be enchanting visits from butterflies, bees, hover-flies, moths, beetles and ladybirds to add a delicate beauty to your garden and assist the pollination of important food crops.”


 

News and Events 2013

October

Jeremy Hilton is launching his novel A Sound Like Angels Weeping at the "Hen & Chicks", Abergavenny, on Tuesday November 19th, at 8pm. Jeremy is an excellent reader of his poems, and I'm sure will make a enthralling presentation of his powerful first novel. All are welcome.

September

The latest books from Brimstone Press - a novel, a biography, a volume of poetry, and a book on gardening - highlight the diversity and range of our list. They share one quality - the passion of the authors for their work, and to see it in print.

A Sound Like Angels Weeping is a first novel from poet Jeremy Hilton. Many poets will know him from FIRE, the radical poetry magazine he ran from 2005 to 2012, in which he published many new and challenging poets. He has published 12 books of his own poetry.

Roger Martin du Gard, Moralist is the life's work of John Garrod, unfinished at his death, and brought to publication by his widow, Susan Garrod, fulfilling a promise she made to her husband, and helped by the du Gard specialist, Charlotte Andrieux. Although du Gard won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1937, he is not well known in the English-speaking world, and John Garrod's examination of du Gard the author and man, by far the most comprehensive in English, will introduce him and his roman fleuve Les Thibault to a new audience.

Selected Poems, Revised and New is Jenny Johnson's third book of poems, and the summation of her long career, which we are pleased she has entrusted to Brimstone.

A Garden Centre Calendar: Choosing the right plant for your garden at the right time is by Marilyn Norvell, an author of distinguished horticultural pedigree. Her mother's family grew and sold asparagus at Covent Garden in the 19th Century, and were responsible for importing the first oranges from Spain. She and her husband, among many other achievements, have planted roses at the White House.

April

Mike Oldfield - A Life Dedicated to Music

In May we’re very excited to be publishing Mike Oldfield - A Life Dedicated to Music, a biography of the musician who brought us Tubular Bells. The book is by Chris Dewey, who has been producing Oldfield fan magazines for 27 years, and edits Dark Star, the official Mike Oldfield website, mikeoldfield.org. The book documents the musician’s career through information gathered in interviews during that time, and collects together the views of other musicians, music industry experts, and Oldfield’s closest fans, as well as brand new interviews and the author’s own insights all assembled in chronological order from the beginnings of Oldfield’s music career 45 years ago up to the present. It is launching on the 40th anniversary of Tubular Bells.

Chris is the son of Brimstone author John Dewey (Mirror of the Soul. A Life of the Poet Fyodor Tyutchev), and we are glad that John was happy to recommend us to Chris.

Chris has also written an article for us on e-books - Chris produced the e-book version of Mirror of the Soul, and of his own book, so he has valuable insights for those of us still struggling with what many see as the future of publishing. We have emailed it to all Brimstone authors, and you can also read it at brimstoneauthors.com, on the Information page.

Getting out there

A report in The Guardian on the Frankfurt Book Fair called self-published authors, ‘the book world’s latest hot property’. And mainstream publishers are turning more and more to self-publishing for authors to sign. But of course we authors need to get our work ‘out there’. Having just published a new book, Dionysos’ Island, I’m going to be exploring how to ‘get out there’, to get myself, and more importantly my work, better known.

The simplest place to begin is our own blogging site, brimstoneauthors.com. It’s there for all authors to use, email contributions to Brimstone Press. I’ll certainly be using it, and you can also follow my efforts on my own keithwaltonwriter.com, and a website devoted to my novel Dionysos’ Island, dionysos-island.com.

Our most prolific blogger is Sebastian Hayes - go to sebastianhayes.co.uk, and follow the links to his various sites. And if any Brimstone authors have their own websites or blogging sites, please let us know, and we can create links to them.

Writing the book’s the hard part; the really hard part is selling it. But by harnessing the ‘cooperative approach’ of our strapline, we can help each other. Best wishes and good luck.

Keith Walton


 

Brimstone Events 2012

Getting out there

A report in The Guardian on the Frankfurt Book Fair called self-published authors, ‘the book world’s latest hot property’. And mainstream publishers are turning more and more to self-publishing for authors to sign. But of course we authors need to get our work ‘out there’. Having just published a new book, Dionysos’ Island, I’m going to be exploring how to ‘get out there’, to get myself, and more importantly my work, better known.

The simplest place to begin is our own blogging site, brimstoneauthors.com. It’s there for all authors to use, email contributions to Brimstone Press. I’ll certainly be using it, and you can also follow my efforts on my own keithwaltonwriter.com, which I’ve just set up.

Our most prolific blogger is Sebastian Hayes - go to sebastianhayes.co.uk, and follow the links to his various sites. And if any Brimstone authors have their own websites or blogging sites, please let us know, and we can create links to them.

Writing the book’s the hard part; the really hard part is selling it. But by harnessing the ‘cooperative approach’ of our strapline, we can help each other. Best wishes and good luck.

Keith Walton

The Tormented Prince

Brimstone’s December book is The Tormented Prince, an account by Canadian author J Leigh Hirst of the life and writings of Mark Holloway. Mark, who was married to Victoria Strachey, belonged to the literary pub and club scene that flourished in Soho from the 1930s to 1950s. The books he published in his lifetime met with critical success - his Utopian Communities in America, 1680-1880 is still in print, 60 years after it was first published. But, unknown to anyone, including his wife of 52 years, he also wrote over half a million words about his life which only came to light after his death in 2004. Leigh Hirst has used this mass of material to provide an absorbing account of Mark's life. The book is to be reviewed in The Fitzrovia News.

 

 

Dionysos’ Island launched

Brimstone Press hosted the launch of Keith Walton’s latest novel, Dionysos’ Island at Shaftesbury Arts Centre on 8 November. Chris Sledge introduced our thirty-third title, Keith and friends read from the book, and Keith answered questions. There was an excellent turnout, and among the guests were Brimstone authors Sebastian Hayes, David Andrew, Clive Russell and Catherine Simmonds. Keith greatly appreciated their presence and support.

 

Dorset Arts Weeks 26 May to 10 June

Once again we will have Brimstone Press books and information at Higher Green Farm Arts, near Shaftesbury, during the arts weeks. Des and Julie Alner are very welcoming to their beautiful centre and garden - and Julie serves scrumptious lunches and snacks! The perfect place to take a break if you're 'doing' the arts venues. www.highergreenfarmarts.co.uk


Ron Hansford, Countryman Poet

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our Brimstone authors, Ron Hansford, author of the poetry collection Flying into the Blizzard. The only consolation is that he was fully active mentally and physically right up to the end, and, like many of us, would probably have preferred to go this way rather than remain incapacitated and bedridden. Sebastian Hayes, one of the Brimstone Directors and a personal friend of the deceased, attended the moving funeral service. It was largely a 'secular' service, doubtless because of the expressed wish of the deceased and the vicar read out several of Ron's poems and gave an account of his very active and, it would seem, generally happy life. As the vicar mentioned it is very unusual these days to come across someone who lived practically the whole of his life in the house where he was born and brought up, a house which was itself built by his builder grandfather. Ron was a well-read person who had many intellectual interests but he retained a taste for manual work, looking after the house and extensive garden himself and keeping prize bantam hens right up to the end. He will be greatly regretted and he was such a well-liked person that the funeral was attended by such a large crowd of people that over half of us had to stand as there were no vacant pews available!

We extend our sympathies to his widow, Sylvia Oldroyd, also a Brimstone poet, and to his only son, Roger, currently doing research at Southampton University. An appreciation of Ron's poetry, entitled Ron Hansford : Countryman Poet can be viewed on the Brimstone website, Shorter Works section, and if you wish for a printed copy you can get in touch with me via Brimstone Press and send sae. I distributed many of these booklets at the Reception after the funeral.

Sebastian Hayes

 

John Dewey's Mirror of the Soul: A Life of the Poet Fyodor Tyutchev has received many more excellent reviews. Click on the link to read a selection on the Book page. It is heartening to see an unfunded, self-published book recognised and acknowledged as the standard work on a major figure, not just in the English-speaking world, but in the subject's own country as well. In these days of publishing conglomerates and falling bookshop sales, many worthwhile books that would have been published by small and specialist publishers a generation ago will now only reach the public as a result of the resolve and tenacity of authors who self-publish.


 

Brimstone Events 2011


Ron Hansford, Countryman Poet

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of one of our Brimstone authors, Ron Hansford, author of the poetry collection Flying into the Blizzard. The only consolation is that he was fully active mentally and physically right up to the end, and, like many of us, would probably have preferred to go this way rather than remain incapacitated and bedridden. Sebastian Hayes, one of the Brimstone Directors and a personal friend of the deceased, attended the moving funeral service. It was largely a 'secular' service, doubtless because of the expressed wish of the deceased and the vicar read out several of Ron's poems and gave an account of his very active and, it would seem, generally happy life. As the vicar mentioned it is very unusual these days to come across someone who lived practically the whole of his life in the house where he was born and brought up, a house which was itself built by his builder grandfather. Ron was a well-read person who had many intellectual interests but he retianed a taste for manual work, looking after the house and extensive garden himself and keeping prize bantam hens right up to the end. He will be greatly regretted and he was such a well-liked person that the funeral was attended by such a large crowd of people that over half of us had to stand as there were no vacant pews available!

We extend our sympathies to his widow, Sylvia Oldroyd, also a Brimstone poet, and to his only son, Roger, currently doing research at Southampton University. An appreciation of Ron's poetry, entitled Ron Hansford : Countryman Poet can be viewed on the Brimstone website, Shorter Works section, and if you wish for a printed copy you can get in touch with me via Brimstone Press and send sae. I distributed many of these booklets at the Reception after the funeral.

Sebastian Hayes

 
Richard Adeney

It is with regret that we have to report the death of Richard Adeney on 16 December 2010 at the age of 90; he has been unwell for most of the past year.

The obituaries which are currently appearing pay tribute to his musicianship and to his quality and courage as an individual. We are very pleased that Brimstone Press was given the opportunity to help Richard turn his typescript into a finished book, and that Flute has - rightly - won almost universal praise from the critics who have reviewed it. Please visit our Author and Books pages for more information and for an extract; it was for passages like this that the critic John Amis commented that "he gives a better idea than I've come across anywhere else of what it feels like to play in an orchestra."

John Dewey's Mirror of the Soul: A Life of the Poet Fyodor Tyutchev, has aroused considerable interest among academics and enthusiasts, from USA to Russia, with several reviews in the offing. It has already received an excellent review in the Literary Review, concluding: "This book is not only the first life of Tyutchev in English, it is by far the best and the most complete anywhere, including Russia. Dewey’s scholarship is meticulous and there isn’t a previous biography or study he doesn’t mention, draw on or debate. The volume is handsomely illustrated and reads easily. John Dewey himself is a thoughtful critic."

Natalya Golitsyna, in an interview with the author broadcast on Radio Free Europe's Russian Service, said: “Mirror of the Soul: A Life of the Poet Fyodor Tyutchev, by the well-known translator and literary scholar John Dewey, has been published by the British publishing house Brimstone Press. Mr Dewey's book is not only a detailed biography of Tyutchev; brilliant analysis of the lyric verse is interspersed with penetrating commentaries on his political writings. [...] On the basis of an extensive range of documentary material, John Dewey has succeeded in demonstrating the duality, contradictions and complexity of a man whom Afanasy Fet called: 'one of the greatest lyric poets to have existed on this earth'.”

Sebastian Hayes gave a lecture on "Rimbaud and the Paris Commune 1871" at the Marx Memorial Library in London, drawing on his Rimbaud Revisited & Une Saison en Enfer. The lecture has been published in Praxis Number 152, and can be read at arimbaud.com.


 

Brimstone Events 2010

Congratulations to RJ Hansford and Sylvia Oldroyd, who were placed first and second in the Earlyworks Press 2009 Web Poetry Competition.

On Wed 20 Jan, at 7.30pm, Sebastian Hayes gave a storytelling performance of “The Island of Gulls” at the Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9BX. In this haunting tale of a beautiful girl born with the webbed feet of a gull, Sebastian Hayes gave us a powerful image of mankind's divided nature. The tale is printed in his collection of folk tales, The Foundling and Other Tales, and he has performed it successfully at 'Willow', East Stour, and in the Earthouse at the Ancient Technology Centre, Wimborne.

On Wed 27 Jan, at 7.30pm, at the same venue, Brimstone author John Dewey read his translations from the poetry of the Russian Romantic poet Fyodor Tyutchev and spoke about him. Sebastian Hayes read his translations of the poems of Belle Epoque French poet, Anna de Noailles, and Sarah Lawson read translations from the Mexican poet Manuel Ulacia.

Chris Irven and Help for Heroes

Having watched a TV documentary about the rehabilitation of 2 soldiers wounded in Afghanistan (they had lost an arm and 3 legs between them), Brimstone author Chris Irven decided to raise money for the charity Help for Heroes supporting rehabilitation at Selly Oak Hospital and Headley Court. His plan was to cycle 2,000 miles alone and unsupported. He bought a new and virtually indestructible bike, loaded it with essentials for the journey including a survival bag for sleeping rough if need be, and set out at the end of April 2010. He rode from Gillingham to Land’s End, then to John O’ Groats, and on the way home called in to see some of the soldiers being rehabilitated at Headley Court where he had once been treated in his Army days. He reached Gillingham one month and 2,038 miles after setting out, 7% lighter. It was his fourth such ‘pilgrimage’ and the second longest – and at 75 years old, the hardest so far. To date, he’s raised £23,000 for Help for Heroes. His complete story, ‘Giving Something Back’, will shortly be posted on chrisirven.wordpress.com and any donations would be much appreciated on justgiving.com/Chris-Irven.


 

Brimstone Events 2009

Continuing our link with Higher Green Farm Arts, Brimstone Press participated in their exhibition at Shaftesbury Arts Centre from 16 to 28 February. This was a wide-ranging and popular exhibition of paintings, photographs, ceramics and jewellery.

Saturday 21 February at the Shaftesbury Arts Centre saw the launch of A Box of Chocolates, a collection of short stories from a competition set and judged by celebrated author Fay Weldon - who kindly devoted much of her evening to signing copies of the book. Proceeds from the book will go towards funding the recent extension at the Arts Centre. Brimstone Press, publisher of the book and one of the sponsors of the event, attended to publicise our books and our services.

Read more on news and past events in 2009.


 

Brimstone Events 2008

Brimstone Press participated in Dorset Art Weeks 2008 in a mixed exhibition at the newly opened Higher Green Farm Arts gallery and workshops at Twyford, near Shaftesbury. Since then we have become part of the wide range of exhibitors whose work is on show in the gallery and shop at Twyford. For further details of the activities hosted at Higher Green Farm Arts please see their website, www.highergreenfarmarts.co.uk. Brimstone Press publications can be purchased there and the gallery is open most days - though it is advisable to telephone 01747 812593 to check on opening times.

Brimstone Press manned a tent at the Dare2 Festival at Tollard Royal (July 12 – 13) and Brimstone author, Sebastian Hayes, gave a Storytelling Performance on each of the days and sang his song The Fugitive (see personal website www.sebastianhayes.co.uk) at the ‘Open Mic’ event. This ‘mini Glastonbury’ festival had an amazing variety of stands, shows and events to cater for all ages and inclinations, ranging from Latin American dance to Circus Skills, Stone Balancing, Football, Clay Making — you name it, Dare2 had it. We look forward to participating in this year’s festival and many thanks to Paddy Seymour for hosting the festival on her family’s land and organizing the week-end (no mean feat).

On Sun 20 July, 2008, in the Earthouse at the Dorset Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne, Sebastian Hayes gave a rousing performance of his tale The Island of Gulls. It was enthusiastically received by a capacity audience in this, the area’s leading storytelling venue. Medieval musicians and an axe-wielding Viking added atmosphere to a memorable event.
(The story, under the alternative title Amouetta, appears in the Brimstone publication The Foundling and Other Stories).


 

Brimstone Events 2007

We are pleased to welcome several new members to Brimstone Press, Pam Kelly, Mary Wood, Christopher Irven, the Breach Common Group and Sylvia Oldroyd.

Pam Kelly and Mary Wood received rave reviews in the Blackmore Vale Magazine for their books of poetry, On the Edge and Day Return respectively, for which we compliment them.

Chris Sledge joined our Board of Directors during this year. Chris, the author of the Brimstone title, Internal Memorandum, a novel about life in the corporate world, brings to us, apart from his literary skills, a lifetime’s experience in business and we are very lucky to have him amongst us. One of Chris’s first moves was to get us registered as a Limited Company — you can’t be too careful these days. The Blackmore Vale Magazine printed, in May, a piece about Chris Sledge and his book, Internal Memorandum.

We now span a large and growing field which includes Poetry (Keith Walton, Pam Kelly, Mary Wood, Sylvia Oldroyd), Novel (Keith Walton, Chris Sledge), Drama (Arnold Hinchliffe, Sebastian Hayes), Travel (David Grierson), Philosophy and Religion (Chris Irven, Sebastian Hayes) and Art (Breach Common Group).

Brimstone Directors and Authors have also been hosting and organising a number of local events.

In collaboration with the Slade Gallery in Gillingham, Brimstone co-organised and hosted a joint exhibition with eleven local artists chosen by us (25 May — 10 June). Brimstone Press's work was well publicised and the full range of our titles was available for sale throughout the duration of the exhibition. The event included a private view and a readings evening. We are aiming to set up a similar joint art/literature exhibition as part of Dorset Art Weeks 2008.

Sebastian Hayes, Brimstone Company Secretary, (under his real name Robert Mules) organised a musical evening on 20 June entitled “Gateway to Summer” in the picturesque grounds of Shaftesbury Abbey and in so doing managed to raise some money for the Shaftesbury Westminster Hospital. Many thanks to all the local persons who helped to make this a memorable evening including Keith Davies of the Abbey Trust who was invaluable in helping us with the organisation, the Shaftesbury Silver Band, the U3A Circle Dance Group led by Pam Kelly, the Westminster Nurses who prepared sandwiches and the Bell Street Café which put some of their delicious puddings up for sale. Only the weather left something to be desired but this, sadly, is a typical hazard of outdoor events in this country !

On 13 August Mary Wood launched her first collection of poems Day Return with a Public Reading at one of the regular literary evenings organised by David Caddy (editor of Tears in the Fence magazine) at Huckleberry’s Bookshop, Blandford. Sebastian Hayes and Keith Walton also read from their work.

Brimstone Press participated in the initial launch events of Creative Dorset. This is a Government funded initiative designed to promote economic activity in the creative industries in the county. As a result, we were invited to speak at a seminar entitled "Write to Survive" which was held at Poundbury on 26 September. We shall continue to stay involved with this initiative.

On 30 Sept there was a Private View of Breach: The Art of Commons at Shaftesbury Arts Centre. The exhibition is the response of four artists — a poet, a painter, a photographer and a prose writer — to a Dorset Common over a six month period from the shortest day of the year to the longest. Catherine Simmonds, Rachel Sargent, Justin Orwin and Keith Walton were all there to host a well-attended evening. The exhibition continued to 14 September. It then transferred to Salisbury College (7—21 November) and Gillingham School (21 Nov — 21 Dec), the first outside exhibition to be hung in the new theatre's gallery.

Pam Kelly was asked to judge the Mere Literary Festival’s 2007 Poetry Competition (Local Prize) on Sunday, 14 October, and, apart from her appreciations of the poems she selected, she delivered a stirring speech about the importance of poetry in our lives which was very well received. Her own books of poetry, as well as other Brimstone Press publications, were on show at the Festival and Brimstone Press representatives were available to answer questions about self-publishing and online marketing of books.

 
 

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