Brilliant Corners

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“Jazz Night at the Bedlam Bar” Thomas Van Stein, 2004

Brilliant Corners, a journal, as it says, of jazz and literature, is published by Lycoming College, Williamsport, PA 17701, USA, and edited by Sascha Feinstein. Poetry, prose, in-depth interviews.

The current issue includes poems by Billy Collins and Barry Wallenstein (whose gig at the Vortex with the Mike Hobart Band is still a vivid memory) and a lengthy – 20 pages – interview Sascha Feinstein conducted with me here in London  last October.

Starting with my early experiences of listening to jazz and the heady days in which I played tea chest bass in what might just have been the world’s worst skiffle band, Sascha goes on to explore the connections between Resnick and jazz, both as a character trait and as an influence on the books themselves. There’s some discussion about the fairly frequent occurrence of jazz in my short fiction – stories like Now’s the Time and Minor Key – and the importance of jazz in the work of other writers such as Bill Moody and Michael Connelly.

Around the time of the interview, I’d just come back from a short tour of Nottinghamshire Libraries, reading some of my more jazz-based poetry, plus a Resnick extract or two, with the band, Blue Territory, so, inevitably, we talked about Poetry and Jazz, its beginnings, and why it can be so rewarding to perform. (See Wallenstein & Hobart above.)

For any students out there searching for a research topic in the area of jazz and crime fiction, this interview, taken together with Age Hedley Peterson’s Jazz i crime literature – Resnick and all that jazz, published in the April/May/June 2016 issue of the Danish magazine Jazz Special, and reprinted in translation herewould be a pretty good place to start.

 

 

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Jumpin’ with Jazz Steps: Blue Territory Returns!

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October looks as if it’s going to be a busy month, one way or another, with most of my activities – just for a change – centred around Nottingham. Darkness, Darkness is at  Nottingham Playhouse for the first two weeks of the month, and, during the second of those weeks, the band, Blue Territory, [that’s us in action, above] and I will be repeating out previously successful mini-tour of Nottinghamshire libraries [No band bus, no Smarties in the Green Room, and positively no groupies] following the estimable Dave O’Higgins to  Worksop, Southwell and West Bridgford.

Along with some of the familiar pieces about Chet Baker, Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker, we’ve been working on some new material, including a small tribute to Jack Kerouac, whose poetry and jazz readings with the likes of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims in the 1950s lay at the heart of much that we do.

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Poetry on the Way

I’m pleased to be reading on the opening night of both the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival (Friday, May 27th) and the Derby Book Festival (Friday, June 3rd).

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The Bodmin Moor Festival takes place (a tad confusingly?) in Liskeard, at Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross, and the opening reading, which I’m sharing with Welsh poet and Picador author, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, runs from 6.30 to 8.00pm.

Details and tickets from  www.bodminmoorpoetryfestival.co.uk or www.sterts.co.uk

The second Derby Book Festival runs from 3 – 11 June and to close out the first evening I shall be in the CUBE Café / Bar at Déda in the Cathedral Quarter, doing my poetry and jazz thing with the pretty marvellous Blue Territory. There’ll be bits and pieces from the Resnick novels and poems from the recent Smith/Doorstop collection, Out of Silence.

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Derby 2Earlier that evening, in the same venue, 6.00 – 7.00pm, the fine poet Helen Mort will be reading from her new collection from Penguin, No Map Could Show Them, poems about mountains and the people who climb them.

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Tickets for both these shows from …http://www.deda.uk.com

And if you’re in or around Nottingham on Wednesday, May 18th you shouldn’t miss the chance to hear Matthew Caley reading from his fifth collection, Rake, together with Mark Waldron, reading from Meanwhile, Trees, both published by Bloodaxe Books.

http://fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/events/bloodaxe-books-present-rake-by-matthew-caley-meanwhile-trees-by-mark-waldron/

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Giggin’ Around …

With several events I’m due to take part in on the (near) horizon, time for a little gentle self-publicity …

This coming Friday, April 15th, I shall be at the Poetry Café in London’s Covent Garden as one of the guests in Hylda Sims’ long-running monthly poetry and music evenings, Fourth Friday. The other poet reading on this occasion is Danielle Hope and the music, as is quite frequently the case – and why not? – comes from singer-songwriter, Liz Simcock. It all kicks off at 8.00pm and there are floor spots for any poets wishing to try their hand. And this is Liz …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUDwAWQ1sEA&list=PLsTBkU5Nq459CiFEDCAzMayjqW30Cs_Uk&index=1

The following afternoon I shall be returning to Stevenage for just about the first time (other than for a visit to Broadhall Way by Notts County) since I taught there in the early 1970s.

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My plan is to talk about some forty years as a professional writer, a career which started in what some might call less than spectacular fashion with Avenging Angel, a tale of everyday Hells Angels published under the so-trying-to-be-trendy name of Thom Ryder and written – the first draft anyway – during my last year of teaching. Shows promise, but must work harder.

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As you’ll have noticed from the poster, your admission money gets you tea and cake, added to which there should be a free book of mine – not including, I’m afraid, Avenging Angel – for the first 25 ticket holders to arrive.

http://websites.uk-plc.net/Hertfordshire_Libraries_ticket_sales_and_free_tickets/

And finally, a little further ahead, on Friday, June 3rd, as part of this year’s Derby Book Festival, along with the band, Blue Territory, I shall be reading in a Poetry & Jazz evening at the Cube Café/Bar in Déda on Chapel Street, beginning at 9.30pm.

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