Category Archives: News

New month, new space, new poetry

1 November saw the Telltale gang return to the newly-refurbished Poetry Café in Covent Garden where we were delighted to be joined by special guests Catherine Smith and Abigail Parry.   The spare and smart décor was the perfect backdrop for readings that were by turns elaborate, engaging, intense, irreverent, comic, caustic and yes indeed alliterative, rhythmic; downright brilliant displays of the sonic magic of live poetry.

Telltale co-founder Robin Houghton kicked off proceedings in style with an exclusive preview of her exciting new pamphlet, All the Relevant Gods, due out in February 2018 with Cinnamon Press.  Next on the floor was Catherine Smith with a funky festoon of poems from collections including Lip and Otherwhere (Smith/Doorstop).   Two stomping sets, a break to enjoy the refreshed upstairs café complete with poetry miscellany on each table like inviting menus (my favourite was the school exercise book inviting visitors to leave a poem), then it was back downstairs for a corker of a set by other Telltale co-founder Peter Kenny.  Halloween may have just come and gone but that didn’t stop Abigail Parry treating us to a trio of Gothic poems amid an exhilarating set that tricked and turned on wicked word plays – we simply cannot wait for Bloodaxe to bring out Abby’s collection Jinx next March.

Thank you once again to Robin Houghton, Catherine Smith, Peter Kenny, Abigail Parry, the Poetry Café and the wonderful audience who filled the room with warmth and laughter.  Next stop:  the Telltale Anthology 2018 – watch this space!

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Peter Kenny, Abigail Parry, Robin Houghton and Catherine Smith

Guest poet Abigail Parry joins us for our autumn event

abigail parryFantastic news – we’ve persuaded the multiple award-winning poet Abigail Parry to read with us at the new-look Poetry Cafe in London on November 1st for our autumn Telltale Press & Friends.

Last year Abigail won two of the biggest prizes out there – the Ballymaloe and the Troubadour. Her long-awaited debut collection Jinx is out with Bloodaxe next year. Abby gives excellent poetry readings  – another great reason to come along on 1st November.

Joining Abby are Telltale founder members Robin Houghton & Peter Kenny, and our marvellous Associate Editor and mentor Catherine Smith – also known for her compelling readings … it’s going to be a great night.

As ever, entry is FREE, although donations are always welcome! Just buy a drink upstairs and come on down to the newly refurbished basement room.

Here’s the flyer, and here’s the Facebook event page – please share with your friends, and thank you!

We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

 

What’s next for Telltale Press…?

We’ve been a bit quiet on here, and the reason for that is simply that we’ve all been busy – with work, family, pamphlets, plays and more…

Good news though – we now have a date for our next Telltale Press & Friends, and we’ve booked our Special Guest reader – but more to follow on this once we have the CONFIRMED booking from our London venue.

Also on the cards is a Telltale anthology, which should make its way into the world next Spring.

Thanks for keeping up with Telltale. We’ll soon be enticing you to our next event. Hope you can come.

A warm night at the Lewes Arms

Lewes Arms

Warm in the sense of friendly I mean – although we did also need to open windows. I’m of course talking about last Friday and our latest Telltale Poets & Friends readings at the Lewes Arms. It’s a delightfully intimate pub, no longer with an actual stage upstairs but still a great venue for poetry readings. Plus it’s sort of become our mothership.

Sorry, no pics this time – except the ‘before’ photo of the room, so that I could see how the tables needed to go back before we moved them all – so you just have to imagine how our readers looked, especially Katrina in her beautiful vintage frock.

Telltale’s Siegfried Baber and Sarah Barnsley gave us storming sets with many new poems, and it was a pleasure to welcome Marion Tracy and Katrina Naomi as our guest poets. It’s just occurred to me that they have something in common, in that they have surnames that could be first names – spooky! I’m glad I didn’t think of that before the intros, or I would have certainly said “Please welcome Tracy Marion!” or something equally daft. Katrina, who had journeyed up from Penzance, mesmerised us with her witty and moving poetry. She had to contend with noisy blokes outside AND the sudden dramatic collapse of our roller banner, but she carried on like a true pro. Marion’s reading was excellent as always – surreal and joyously unpredictable poems.

It felt like all our friends and supporters were there, as well as a good number of people we didn’t know but many of whom came up afterwards to say how much they enjoyed it, and that really made for a super evening. Thank you everyone who came, bought books and donated generously the Telltale funds (there’s a new banner to buy after all!)

Interior Lewes Arms

Our cosy room, before we moved the tables and everyone arrived – !

Telltale Press & Friends, poetry reading, Lewes Arms, Lewes, Friday 28th April at 8.00pm

Poetry reading Lewes Arms 28th April 2017

Spring is here and with it another sparkly Telltale Press & Friends’ reading in Lewes, kicking off the Bank Holiday weekend in style on Friday 28 April 2017 @ 8pm.

Our guest poets come from near and far.  From Penzance we are delighted to present Katrina Naomi, whose spectacular second collection, The Way the Crocodile Taught Me (Seren, 2016) is a must-read; and we are thrilled to be joined by Brighton-based Marion Tracy, whose dazzling debut collection Dreaming of our Better Selves is fresh out from VanguardEditions.   Telltale poets Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid, singled out by The TLS as one to watch) and Sarah Barnsley (The Fire Station) complete the lineup in what promises to be an exquisite evening.

The event is at the Lewes Arms and admission is FREE (donations welcome).  We hope you can join us!

How to find the Lewes Arms.

 

Poetry reading Lewes Arms 28th April 2017

 

Telltale Press & Friends reading, Lewes Arms, Lewes 19th October at 8.00pm

In a word: unmissable. We’ve managed to assemble another exciting line-up for our series of Telltale Press & Friends readings in Lewes.

Judy Brown’s brilliant new book Crowd Sensations is a Poetry Book Society recommendation. Jess Mookherjee’s spanking new Telltale pamphlet The Swell is already causing a sensation. Michaela Ridgway needs little introduction in Sussex, beinga leading light in Brighton’s poetry firmament as well as hosting the Pighog evenings. Telltale’s Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid)  is, of course, one of the most promising poets under 30 in the country.

This is a must-see event in Lewes. It’s free too. (Though if you do donate something into the Telltale coffers we won’t object.)

 

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Jess Mookherjee launches ‘The Swell’ 5th October, Pitcher & Piano, Tunbridge Wells

Glory and trumpets! Telltale officially launches Jess Mookherjee’s pamphlet The Swell at 7.00pm at the Pitcher & Piano in Tunbridge Wells on 5th October. 

I say ‘officially’ because The Swell went on sale at the Poetry Book Fair. I have to tell you this fabulous pamphlet sold like piping hot cakes. Why? Because it is absolutely excellent. So if you missed the fair, and want to lap up a Jess Mookherjee reading and buy her pamphlet come to Tunbridge Wells on 5th October. Plus, later in October, there will be another Telltale & Friends reading in Lewes, which will also feature Jess and stellar guests we are busily confining as I type.

As ever the Book Fair itself was an unmissable opportunity to hear some amazing readings (my favourite was Judy Brown whose book Crowd Sensations is a stunner) get an overview of the UK’s thriving poetry scene, and bump into loads of old poetry  muckers. Later Jess, Sarah and Peter also represented Telltale by giving a quick reading in the Square Pig & Pen pub nearby.

A few snaps from the day.

 

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A poet and her editor: Jess Mookherjee and Sarah Barnsley with The Swell.

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Jess selling another copy of her marvellous pamphlet The Swell. Next to her is Jeremy Page of The Frogmore Press who shared a stand with us again this year.

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Sarah Barnsley and Peter Kenny get slightly too excited on the Telltale Press stand.

Launch of Jess Mookherjee’s pamphlet

It’s gone to print and we’re getting excited about launching ‘The Swell’, the debut pamphlet from our newest member Jessica Mookherjee.

The official launch event will be on Wednesday 5th October, 7.15pm, at the Pitcher & Piano, Tunbridge Wells. Do come and hear Jess reading from her pamphlet, plus guest readers and who knows, maybe a Telltale-style surprise or two…

And if you’re going to be at the Poetry Book Fair Free Verse on Saturday 17th September, please say hello to the Telltale Poets – not only will be sharing a table with our good friends The Frogmore Press, but some of us will also be reading in the evening at the Square Pig & Pen. Hope to see you there!

 

Another great night at the Poetry Cafe

Poets at Telltale Press & Friends, July 2016

Sarah Barnsley, John McCullough, Jess Mookherjee & Peter Kenny

Despite the best efforts of Southern Rail to derail our evening in London last week (derail! See what I did there?) it was another lovely/lively night at the Poetry Cafe.

Sadly, Siegfried Baber was poorly which meant he was unable to read, but Peter Kenny stepped in and joined Sarah Barnsley, Jess Mookherjee and John McCullough. All strong readings and a particular pleasure to hear Jess in her first reading as a Telltale poet, with a sneak preview of some of the poems in her pamphlet which we’re working on now and planning to launch in October. Exciting!

Huge thanks also to John McCullough, who’s been a friend of Telltale from the start, having read at our Brighton launch in 2014. John’s latest collection is Spacecraft (Penned in the Margins), a fine book which unsurprisingly sold well on the night.

Thank you to everyone who came, bought poetry, donated to the press and made the evening so much fun.

Here’s footage of Peter reading:

Poet Peter Kenny reads ‘Postcard from Ithaca’ from Telltale Press on Vimeo.

Telltale & Friends – 7th July The Poetry Cafe, London

Opinions have been sought, debates held, pros and cons weighed up, and one epoch-shaking decision has been taken. Yes folks Telltale’s summer reading has been finalised!  It will be held at our old stomping ground of The Poetry Cafe, in London’s Covent Garden. It’s all the sevens: the evening starts at 7:00pm, on Thursday 7th July.

Hotter than a sizzling hot thing, is John McCullough right now. He’s a long-term Telltale friend, and his spanking new collection Spacecraft is already going down a storm. On the night we’ll also showcase Telltale’s latest recruit Jess Mookherjee, whose collection Telltale will be launching later this year. You’ll also find on the bill are fabulous Telltale stars Sarah Barnsley (The Fire Station) and Siegfried Baber (When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid). 

Picture the scene… You are sauntering through sophisticated Covent Garden, and effortlessly drift into the Poetry Cafe. Soon you are congratulating yourself on choosing to hear some exceptional poetry. All for free.

If you’re in reach of London, we’re looking forward to giving you a sunny Telltale welcome. Consider this your invitation…

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