Mike in Finland

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Midas Touch and Snow in Tallinn

I was very pleased that my copies of Midas Touch arrived just before Christmas. The last day of deliveries, actually. So I had them in time to give a few as Christmas presents to local friends. I´m really pleased with the quality of the production and the effect of the cover picture is great. A big thanks to both Adele Ward for her editing work and Mike Fortune-Wood for the artwork and layout. There are a couple of poems from the collection behind the link in the right-hand column of this blog.

Further details and orders from the publisher´s website:

We spent a lovely weekend in Tallinn last week where there was some serious snow:

Getting about in the old town was a slippery business. They can´t use machines to clear the snow on many of the streets because they´re so narrow and cobbled stoned. It looked lovely though. Great atmosphere.

And of course, I visited my favourite ceramic workshop and bought a new piece. This is by Urmas Puhkan:

Urmas explained that he made this piece early last summer, just at the end of the academic year when he was whacked after a very busy term of teaching and grading students´ work. When it was finally all finished he said that he felt exhausted and his feelings came out in the statue that he was making at that time, this one. Lovely, isn´t it?

The workshop and gallery of Asuurkeraamika is in a new location in a tower that is part of the medieval town wall round the old town. It´s a perfect location. The address, Kooli str 7, is the street behind the tower but there´s no door from the street; the entrance is from the park on the outside of the city wall. Their website has a map and pictures of several of their pieces.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Good News

Midas Touch has arrived from the printer. I´ve heard that some readers in the UK have already received their copies. Deliveries of orders outside Britain may take a little longer because of the Christmas rush and the bad weather. My copies are currently somewhere between North Wales and Finland.

For readers of this blog who are based in Britain, I will be reading poems from Midas Touch in Camden Town on Friday 7 January together with Ann Alexander, who will be reading from her new collection, Too Close, which is also published by Ward Wood Publishing.

The event is in aid of Cold Weather Shelters and the entrance fee (£5 / £4) supports that work. The address is: Trinity United Reform Church Hall, 1 Buck Street, Camden. It´s very close to Camden Town underground station and the doors open at 18.30.

I´m looking forward to meeting all those who are able to get there.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

More on Sofi Oksanen´s `Purge´

I´ve just found some very interesting comments about Sofi Oksanen´s novel, Purge, on a blog on The Economist´s website. The blog refers to criticism that Oksanen´s novel misrepresents the realities of life in Estonia during the Soviet era, which I can believe is true, though my experience is very limited (I do have some). The counter argument is that the novel does not aim to be a fully inclusive representation of life in Estonia during the Soviet period, which I can also agree with. Perhaps the issue, then, is to decide whether the events portrayed might possibly have happened in the place and at the time the novel situates them. It´s an interesting debate and this blog presents the two sides very clearly:

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Midas Touch slight delay

I´ve just heard from the publisher, Ward Wood Publishing, that my new poetry collection, Midas Touch, has been slightly delayed coming from the printer. It´s expected to be delivered next week. Okay, just keep holding your breath everyone.