Saturday, 28 August 2010

Exciting plans

I probably shouldn't be writing this because any plans I usually outline on this blog end up changing beyond all recognition or simply never materialise at all. Nonetheless, here's the plan...

Over the coming months I will be publishing selections from the glut of short fiction I've been hammering out over the last couple of years. Many of them will appear in a forthcoming collection provisionally entitled "Babbage's Disease & Other Fictions", which will be disseminated via Olchar's mOnocle-Lash imprint. In addition to the 10,000 word-ish novella of its title, it will include somewhere in the region of 8-10 shorter pieces, some of which are rewritings of the better bits of "Selected Prose Works" and many of which I have yet to release in any form.

In the run up to that publication I'm planning to self-publish a short series of chapbooks inspired by the concept of promotional music singles. Each of these chapbooks will feature a selection from "Babbage's Disease" accompanied by a "B-side" story which will not be published in any other form. The first of these will be "The Punch-Up", with a B-side entitled "The Cathedral of Meat" and will hopefully be ready in time for a reading I'm doing in Torquay on September 9th.

All in all I'm planning to release over a dozen new stories by the end of the year. Hopefully this post will serve to spur me on rather than stand as a testament to my inability to follow through on my grand ideas.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


New content, no less, albeit based on some pretty old ideas. The tracks below are recordings of a short performance I did at Bryce's awesome cafe-bookshop-arts venue thing called Epicentre. If you're ever in the vicinity of Paignton you should drop in for a nibble and a browse and make a foreigner smile.

This was my first attempt at doing anything which could be legitimately referred to as "live comedy" and I'm deeply indebted to the lovely audience of clever poets who had the decency to laugh at a few of the least awful bits. I'm not at all happy with my performance of the William Morris monologue. I was rewriting it on the train (four years since I first wrote that bitch and I'm still fiddling with it), and the combination of failing eyesight, dangerously small font sizes and my own illegible scrawlings resulted in some very unsightly pauses in all the wrong places. Ah well. Have at it:

A Letter of Disenlikenment by dbedwards

William Morris/Crab Scenario by dbedwards

Friday, 20 August 2010

A dusty old poem

I found some scans of a splat poem book thing I produced for a project at Dartington. The recording of the performance has long since vanished, so I thought I'd better record what I can remember of the event here.

I seem to recall the performance involved me slowly progressing through the pages book, performing each double-page by first focusing on the left before introducing elements of the right page and drawing on them simultaneously then performing solely from the right page. Once that was done I'd turn the page and restart the process as seamlessly as possible. This created a nice mix of slow progressions and abrupt shifts. It took about twenty minutes to work through the whole text, which I performed behatted and becaped in a hot studio. I built the sense of encroaching exhaustion into the piece, exploiting my lack of breath and straining voice for all it was worth.

I'd distributed noisemakers amongst the other students, who were mostly music students I think as this was for one of the optional cross-disciplinary modules. They were a bit nervous at first, so I had to bring them in with a gesture and conduct them for a couple of minutes before they really got into the shifting rhythms and began to bounce off each other as much as anything I was doing.

I think this remains the furthest I've ever taken the splat poem as a form, certainly as an act for a single voice, but I feel certain there's far more still to be done with it if I can challenge myself not to slip into a mode of delivery which is now so familiar and comfortable to me that it no longer feels like a worthwhile activity.

In other news I've been doing some comedy performances recently, audio recordings of which will hopefully find their way to me soon (and will naturally turn up on this blog when they do).