The Birmingham Book Festival has been running since the 6th of October, and is ongoing until the 29th, and loyal fans of Gists and Piths should know that the Editors are involved in a couple of upcoming events. Simon Turner will be talking on Roy Fisher as part of the seminar series on Saturday 17th of October (the series as a whole looks very interesting, with Luke Kennard on David Foster Wallace, and Heather Child talking on Will Self being among the highlights). On the 20th of October, meanwhile, Nine Arches Press are hosting Surreal in the City, where Simon Turner (again) will be reading alongside luminaries such as penned in the margins supremo Tom Chivers, the world's youngest ever Forward nominee Luke Kennard, and Matt Nunn, the Brummagem Neruda. George Ttoouli, Turner's partner in crime in the G&P mayhem, will be acting as compere. If you want to book tickets (Surreal in the City is free, but I think it pays to book), the box office number is: 0121 303 2323.
In other news, editors' favourites Baroness are currently streaming the entirety of their startlingly good new album Blue Record on their myspace page, in advance of its imminent arrival tomorrow. God Bless the digital age.
The longer nights and colder weather have been driving the editors indoors in preparation for their long and terrible winter slumber, but we've still been managing to get a lot of reading done. Here's what's been exciting us collectively over recent months:
Beats at Naropa, an anthology published by Coffee House Press, consisting of nuggets from the audio archive of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Contributors include Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, Anne Waldman, Diane Di Prima, and Amiri Baraka; there are interviews with Burroughs and Ginsberg; and big retrospectives on neglected figures like Bob Kaufman. Now if that does't get you excited, nothing will:
Matthew Welton, We needed coffee, but..., a brilliant second collection from a one-man Oulipo revolution:
Voice Recgonition and City State, two new anthologies of young poets, one covering the whole country, the other focused on London, but both packed with genuine talent and promise. I'm excited about where a lot of these poets go next. Expect full coverage soon:
British Surrealism in Context. Okay, that doesn't count as reading, but it is exciting. Leeds Art Gallery are showing an exhibition of, you guessed it, British Surrealism, taken from the private collection of Dr Jeffrey Sherwin, the most prominent collector of the field in the UK. Sadly, the Editors weren't able to make it to Leeds, and the exhibition closes at the end of October. But if anyone does make it up there, we would love to hear your thoughts: perhaps a review might be in order? The Editors, however, do hope to get a chance to see:
Angels of Anarchy, an exhibition of Surrealism (there's a pattern emerging here, isn't there?) which focuses on female artists, and the movement's (often troubled) relationship to feminism. Big names like Frida Kahlo and Dorothea Tanning are included, alongside lesser known artists such as Emmy Bridgwater (one of the Birmingham Surrealists). More news once we've been to see. Why do these exhibition always happen so far away from the Midlands? Why did I never learn to drive?