January 2024. Complete Poems: 1965-2020 gathered a second ‘Best Poet’ award, this time in the Annual Critters Readers Poll for 2003.

It may now feasibly win a third, having been longlisted for Best Collection in the British Science Fiction Association Awards (BSFA) for 2023. Voting closes February 20th.

Levitation is the name of this year’s Eastercon – the annual conference of the BSFA – to be held over the weekend of 29th March to 1st April in Telford, Shropshire, where the winners of the Awards will be announced. I have just moved into this area, and plan to attend.

News from the past year

With the release in January 2023 of Selected Poems (my first CD of readings), and publication of my first poetry collection Complete Poems: 1965-2020 (see February 2023 post), the year started on a personal high, but was matched by the now relentless lows of departing friends. Poet, essayist and author Jay Jeffery Jones and Cramps/Savoy artist Kris Guidio, both left this world in 2023, following Michael Ginley (2022), Charles Partington (2022), Mike Don (2021), Langdon Jones (2021), David Britton (2020)…

Contrarily, also in January, my longest poem, ‘Ghosts’, a warning from the future set to apocalyptic music by Julie Carpenter, was broadcast by Simultaneous Times, a broadcast that also included a reading of the work of Ria Rees.

Have a listen:  podomatic.com

May saw two separate transmissions by the Mojave Desert’s own Desert Oracle Radio (‘The Voice of the Desert’ on Z107.7FM) from my album Selected Poems 1965-2020. These were ‘Space Radio’, set to music by Phog Masheeen and, later in the month, ‘Those Strange Things Called Trees’, with music by Jean-Paul Garnier.

Have a listen: desertoracle.com

These transmissions and others can be heard here, or on Apple Music here.

​June brought Circularisations, an exhibition taking inspiration from  ‘Circularisation of Condensed Conventional Straight-Line Word-Image Structures (Radial Planographic Condensed Word-Image Structures, Rotation About a Point’ (from New Worlds #192, July 1969).

My third solo exhibition, the exhibition ran from June 1st through July at the Art Queen Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA, in collaboration with Space Cowboy Books, and included, for the first time, a digital rendition of the printed ‘circularisation’ frame effect, showing how I wanted the frames to look when I first conceived them. A delayed launch-day on June 17th featured readings from Complete Poems, live musical performances by local experimental artists Phog Masheeen and Field Collapse, a screening of the short art-house film House on the Borderland by Clara Casian (her interview with me about the police raids on Savoy Books intercut by J G Ballard making a sculpture in his back garden, with a voice-over by Fay Ballard), as well as a taco bar provided by Chef Zara Kand.

Also that month, Kat Clay reviewed Complete Poems for Interzone (‘Memories of the Space Age’, IZ Digital).

Jean-Paul Garnier reading from Complete Poems with improvised music by Phog Masheeen. Photo: Kim Martin

September 7th saw re-publication of my short story, ‘Disintegration’. Originally published in New Worlds Quarterly #6, 1973, it was broadcast by Simultaneous Times and read by Jean-Paul Garnier (podcast episode #30) in August 2020, and it has now been reprinted in Simultaneous Times Vol 3 print anthology. Edited by Garnier, the anthology won the 2023 Critters Award for Best Anthology.

In October, new poems, short fictions and a further extract from my unpublished memoir, The Sunshine Island, appeared in Emanations #10 (International Authors, Brookline, Massachusetts), edited by Carter Kaplan.

For those interested, more about my memoir  – and my science fiction roots – can be found here, in an interview posted January 25th 2024 on the online platform of Vector, the journal of the BSFA.

October saw a final Simultaneous Times broadcast (episode #68), a second transmission of ‘Space Radio’, accompanied by readings from the works of Marie Vibbert and Tonya R Moore.

Emanations Zen (Emanations #10, Cover Art: Vatasta Raina)

Cover Art: Austin Hart