Reality Street's 2011 publication programme gets under way on Wednesday 11 May with the London launch of James Davies' Plants and Carol Watts' Occasionals. (James is also previewing Plants in Manchester the day before, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge St, at 6.30pm.)

The double launch takes place at The Apple Tree, 45 Mount Pleasant, London WC1X 0AE, the new venue for the Xing the Line reading series, and starts at 7.30pm. The pub is the former local for posties working at Mount Pleasant sorting office - I think it used to be called the Penny Black or something like that.


 
I'm pleased to be introducing James Davies to the roster of Reality Street authors. James is the co-organiser of The Other Room, centre of a very lively Manchester poetry scene. The first half of Plants consists of poems that were imagined but never realised, or were replaced or deleted, or never really existed - as Jeff Hilson says in his back-cover description, "'Plants' as in poems which are substitutes for poems" [which] "exhibit a fuzzy logic more compelling than the poems they have replaced."


The second half is actual poems. With pictures sometimes.



As for Carol, Occasionals is her second and very welcome Reality Street collection, following the remarkable Wrack (2007). When she sent me the ms, I thought immediately "John Clare" - and indeed the book is like a modern Shepherd's Calendar, a seasonal sequence encompassing one calendar year (September 2006-September 2007, actually). The movement is kind of slinky, with lineation interfering with sentence structure interfered with by punctuation. And it's very ... humane, I think.


I hope there will be a good audience to hear these two poets read from their new books. And you will get a chance to buy the books, at a special launch price. I may bring some other Reality Street stock up from Hastings for sale, too.

See you at the Apple Tree!