Happenstance: Deleted Scenes at States of Independence

It’s time for States of Independence again, the wonderful book-fair-cum-festival at De Montfort University in Leicester, now in it’s fourth year.

Last year I ran a Happenstance stall, which I enjoyed so much I ran another at the Lowdham Book Festival and States of Independence West in Birmingham, though neither quite matched the buzz of the original, so I’m back for another go. There were stalls from all kinds of independent publishers—Nine Arches, Five Leaves, Shoestring, Templar, to name but a few—and panels, readings, and talks throughout the day. I somehow ended up on one entitled ‘Show Me the Money’, where I talked about applying for funding for community writing programmes.

This year we’ve got a 45-minute Happenstance slot to go with the stall, which will feature readings from Sally Festing, Tim Love, Peter Daniels, and myself. I’m calling it ‘Deleted Scenes’ because I’ve asked each of the readers to include one poem that was not included in their Happenstance pamphlet, whether it was discarded during the editing process or perhaps written later on as a sequel or something that could have gone into the collection. I hope this’ll encourage a bit of reflection on the process of putting together a collection, working with an editor, and the afterlife it can have.

There’s tonnes of other stuff happening on the day, including Aly Stoneman and Mulletproof Poet launching their debut collections from Crystal Clear, and a reading from Mark Goodwin and Chris Jones of Longbarrow Press. You can find the full programme on the States of Independence website.

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