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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Surveyors' Riddles Oxford Launch

Giles Goodland and Alistair Noon will be launching their sprawlingly epic collaborative pamphlet Surveyors' Riddles at the Albion Beatnik in Oxford this Friday, 2nd October, from 7.30pm.

That's the Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton Street in Oxford, the very next Friday after this very blogpost, from half past seven o'clock in the evening!

But what is Surveyors' Riddles exactly? Or rather, what are the Surveyors' Riddles? A lost ancient text from an alternative dimension? A kind of auto-mutating procedural text containing clues to the past and the future? A series of translations that take place through a dozen languages?  Do even Noon and Goodland know what they have uncovered through their audacious technique of 'genetic poem sequencing'?

We at Sidekick invite you to let this ever-shifting, anarcho-comic-historic poemavalanche swallow you up.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Prize Poetry Cosplay competition at Free Verse this Saturday!

In what may well be a world-first, this Saturday, Free Verse Poetry Book Fair is hosting a Poetry Cosplay competition, with splendid poetic swag for prizes! Sidekick Books are stoked to be judging this versquerade, which will take place at the Square Pig & Pen, Holborn, just after the thrills and spills of the main fair.

For those of you curious, but with a budget reserved strictly for books, or a shopping bag that will not accommodate a full bodily replica of Purgatory, here are some suggestions:

1. Poets like writing about objects.

From W.H. Auden's stopped clocks to Dorothy Park's red dress, there are stacks of adornments and gubbins with which to decorate yourself. Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons is chock-full of little bits and bobs. The title alone lends itself to a little simple craft.

2. Home-made and ramshackle wins the race.

No need to spend much - just raid the cupboards! Cover yourself in tinfoil to recreate 'Silver' by Walter de la Mare, or don a sheet for Donne's 'The Apparition'. It's all about the walk-off in the end.

3. Puns are your friend.

Yes they are. And since I come from Grimsby, I am absolutely biased if you rock up in a GTFC football shirt and white beard,using the team's nickname to be 'Ryme of the Ancient Mariner'. Or something. What I'm trying to say is, you're a wordsmith. Get smithy.

Wordsworth, anyone?
4. Team up!

Here at Sidekick, we're all about collaboration, and if you're shy, camaraderie might give you the boost you need. So whether you're the Twa Corbies, the Owl and the Pussycat, or one man and his corvine nemesis for The Raven, it'll be more fun with a friend.

Name that Lewis Carroll poem!

5. If all else fails and you're blessed with a strong chin, Ted Hughes is your spirit animal.

A rumpled shirt and a stack of Brycreem and Crow's your uncle.

Disclaimer: Free Verse and Sidekick Books accept no responsibility to cool impartiality, should someone walk in in a full-on Jabberwocky outfit.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Over The Line: Launched, Available and Gearing Up for Gosh

Over The Line: An Introduction to Poetry Comics, edited by Chrissy Williams and Tom Humberstone, is out now and available via our site. Bookshops should be able to order it in from Thursday.

One of our two launch events has been and gone - wine, short readings and talks were laid on at the Poetry Cafe last Thursday, accompanying an exhibition of pages from the book that will run in the cafe until 31st October.

Work by Ivy Alvarez and Cristian Ortiz on the wall of the Poetry Cafe

The view from the book table

John Aggs discussing his poem-comic collaboration with W. N. Herbert
The second launch event will take place on 17th September at Gosh Comics in London, from 7pm, and a whole swathe of the contributing writers and artists will be in attendance.

If you're planning on coming and want to buy any of our other books directly from us, just let us know via email and we'll bring some along!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Comics and Cosplay: Sidekick hits the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair!

It's that time again! On Saturday 26th September, the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair rolls into town! (Conway Hall, to be precise.)

Organised by poets Chrissy Williams and Joey Connolly, the event is not so much a book fair as a raucous celebration of poetry in all its guises. In Williams and Connolly's words:

Free Verse is an all-day bazaar, market, library, meeting place, performance venue, information resource and more. Celebrating the vitality of contemporary poetry in the UK, publishers both large and small, both experimental and traditional, display and sell their work direct to the public.

We'll be there with a whole raft of new goodies and we'll also be judging a world first:

A Poetry Cosplay Parade!

Gah. There's always, like, fifty Geoffrey Hills.

Yes! Come as a poet or a poem, or something tangentially related that requires a detailed explanation but that makes you feel ALIVE. The winner will receive eternal glory and £100 in poetry books!

Most importantly, come and say hi. We'll be hopped up on coffee and very friendly, and sharing a table with the magnificent Happenstance.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Comics Poetry Launch/Exhibition/Workshops, as approved by Alan Moore!

Sidekick is ridiculously excited to be publishing Over The Line, an introduction to comics poetry edited by poet and comics editor Chrissy Williams and comics artist Tom Humberstone.

And it's not just us, apparently. A certain comics legend says the following about the project:

"This is that spine-tingling moment when two attractive and sophisticated forms, both admired for their rhythm and sense of timing, eye each other across the cultural dance floor. In Over The Line, at once an insightful introduction and a comprehensive showcase for the emerging phenomenon of Poetry Comics, Chrissy Williams and Tom Humberstone provide the best possible venue for what looks like being a breathtaking tango. I really can't recommend this venture highly enough, and I'd advise you mark your card immediately."
                                                                                                ALAN MOORE

We're so excited, in fact, that we're having not one but TWO launches.

Launch #1 is on Thursday 3rd September from 6.30pm, to mark the opening of the accompanying exhibition at the Poetry Cafe. Here is the event!

Readers include: Sophie Herxheimer, Anna Saunders, Amy Key, Chris McCabe, John Aggs, Chrissy Williams and others.

Launch #2 will embrace the comics side of its dual nature, taking place at the splendid Gosh Comics on Thursday 17th September. Here is the Facebook event!

Readers and artists include: John Canfield; Lorraine Mariner; Shauna Robertson; Ioan Morris; RH Parry; Sean Azzopardi; Cristian Ortiz; Douglas Noble; Hayley Fiddler; Emix Regulus.

Come and meet the editors, drool over the merch and get stuck into poetry comics!


If you'd like to learn how to make your own poetry comics, editor and long-time comics-poetry-workshop organiser, Chrissy Williams is running a Poetry School workshop on Saturday 5th August, where you can do just that! Investigate here!


And in case you're bamboozled, more information on poetry comics lives here:

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Surveyors' Riddles Oxford launch in October!

We're very excited to give you a date for your October diaries, with the launch of our latest Team-Up, Surveyors' Riddles! On Fri 2 October at 7.30 pm, get thee to the Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton St, Oxford for a night of poetic chicanery and outright lies.

The result of some serious formal (and informal) mischief by poets Giles Goodland and Alistair Noon, Surveyors' Riddles is a sequence written in the classic 'enigmenga' form and translated out of the original tongue. 

At least, it might be. Frankly, the more you read of this devious title, the more you come to doubt a words its authors are saying. Expect layered, gneissic verses glittering with allusions to the contemporary, the historical and the alt-historical, and spot the tricks where you can.

For other Sidekick Books Team-Ups, head here!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Korsakoff Returns via Poetry International

The pernicious influence of Dr F spreads! Sarah Howe is profiled this month on the Poetry International website, and one of her featured poems is 'Le 14 Juillet', which first appeared in Sidekick's fourth micro-anthology, Korsakoff's Paper Chain, which in turn looks a little something like this:

In this miniature volume, every poem was remade from the remains of another after it had been subjected to some form of violence. 'Le 14 Juillet' was once Tony Williams' poem 'Sleeve Notes', before a phial of word rot was spilled on the text, leaving only the verbs intact. Sarah Howe's poem was then shot full of holes by a rival of Dr F, before being restitched as Edward Mackay's 'Le 14 Juillet '68: apres le mai passe'.

We are very happy to see the results of this exercise in wanton literary vandalism (and restoration) preserved for further study!