If you’re not living on the edge,

you’re taking up too much space!’ (Unknown).

My take-away from the excellent presentation by Dr Dave (Richards, of Bournemouth University) who spoke at the South Coast Connections networking event earlier in the week.

He was speaking on innovation, defining the innovative as that which adds new value – though he was careful to emphasise that value should not be understood solely in monetary terms.

He also highlighted the importance of conviviality: an idea not shared is probably an idea that will not be developed to its full potential. Brainstorm constantly, share, be joyful, but be ruthless in throwing out good ideas as soon as possible within the development process in order to concentrate your resources on the great ideas.

His presentation was thought-provoking and entertaining, but the visuals occasionally a bit tired. For example, a dominatrix to illustrate discipline. That idea’s been round the houses and then some.

Except, of course that’ll probably be the one thing everyone will remember. I can just see us all, a month or so from now, waking with the insistent idea in our heads that ‘we need discipline‘ but not being entirely sure why.

The next morning I was out early, walking through the woods with the dog, the crunch of a light frost underfoot and Joni Mitchell in the earphones as the sun rose in a red sky; a fleeting moment of perfection.

But let’s not talk about fare-thee-well’s now
The night is a starry dome.
And they’re playin’ that scratchy rock and roll
Beneath the Matala moon…

Today the postman brought a surprise – a beautifully produced hardback book of samples of Colorplan, paper and card by GF Smith.

It is ideal for filing on the shelf, so it is always to hand, ready to be consulted. And, as it happens, I use Colorplan for the cover of our poetry magazine (Tears in the Fence, issue 51 just out). BUT, and it’s a big but, there is no key or other text to identify the colours.  So having chosen a paper colour, how do I communicate this to the printer?

Live on the edge, but don’t step into the void.

50 up

We have just published the 50th issue of Tears in the Fence, magazine of poetry and prose.

Published 3 times a year, we have editorial bases in England, France, Australia and the USA and subscribers around the world. David Caddy is the Editor, with associates Sarah Hopkins and Tom Chivers; I am responsible for the design and production.

At 164 pages, the 50th issue is the largest yet and features poetry and fiction by, amongst many others, Elizabeth Cook, John Welch, John Kinsella, Peter Riley, Sarah Connor, Alexis Lykiard, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, Todd Swift, Rupert M Loydell, Lucy Lepchani, Jeremy Reed, Juliet Cook, Adam Horovitz, Gerald Locklin, Lynne Wycherley, Donna Hilbert, Martin Stannard and Iain Sinclair.

There is also a ‘hand’ from Loose Packed by Lee Harwood and John Hall. Loose Packed is a set of 52 related fragments, with no fixed order for their reading. They are planned for publication as a pack of playing cards by Acts of Language,  and have been exhibited in 52 different 6 x 4 inch frames, in four differently coloured suits.

Here’s a bit from ‘Take Stock Now…’ in the latest TITF:

Under a vast sky

This restless house

That road

(these tiny objects)

Things to cling on to

For more information and subscriptions, see (and join) Tears in the Fence on Facebook.

50th issue celebration

To celebrate the 50th issue there is a free event on Saturday 5th September, 3.00pm – 8.00pm at The Bell, Middlesex Street, London E1 7EX.

Confirmed readers include Elizabeth Cook, Brian Hinton, George Ttoouli, Sarah Hopkins, Todd Swift, Ian Brinton, Hannah Silva, Vahni Capildeo, Ketaki Kushari Dyson, James Wilkes, Tom Chivers, David Caddy.

This event is in association with Penned in the Margins.