The story Bailing Out was wrapping the chips in Preston last week, having appeared as the Lancashire Evening Post’s reader’s story on Saturday March 6th. Kitted out with a photo by the newspaper, the story draws on images from the recent Cockermouth floods, but isn’t about them. Lancashire Evening Post is running a series of readers’ stories, with a word count of around 1200.

Kowalski moved a step forward to publication this week, with BHD signing a contract with Unbound Press in Glasgow.  There’s still the problem of that phonetic spelling to sort out though. http://freespace.virgin.net/nicola.taylor/unboundpress-titles.htm

The writer of the Lunecy Review  (http://thelunecyreview.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/spotlight-club-november-at-the-storey/) decided that Kowalski was a crochety old New Yorker, something he’s never admitted to. He also called Mildred, Kowalski’s old lady, Miriam. That’s not a problem, but I’d watch out for that gin-bottle laden handbag of hers if he ever runs into her.

Two poems were taken for publication in the Strand International Poetry Anthology this week: (http://strandpublishing.co.uk/) Thaw and Op.39/12. That second title raises a few points. There are so many options for titles. They can be labels, saying what’s in the can. They can frames round the picture. They can be metaphorical messages. They can be mirrored images, skewed or otherwise. Sometimes though, they can be just hard to find. I’d noticed that John Berryman simply indexed his. Op. 39/12 means the twelfth poem out of notebook 39. Simples, one might say. The Op. was just for hutzpah. Of course the downside is that it’s useless for reminding you what the poem was about.

The story The Vampires of Banality is include in the latest offering from Pinhole Camera.  The story title came from local writer Michael Baron, in a warning against the downside of the contemporary writing scene. He gave me another striking phrase too, ‘some rap or other masquerading as poetry’, but apart from doing it, I haven’t had chance to use it yet!

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