Sorry for the longish silence. The truth is, I've been pretty busy since January: one thing and another and well, you know....

Since putting the finishing touches to Down With Beauty, my collection of prose fictions, I've not been doing much new writing, but music and publishing have taken up an extraordinary amount of my time.

Some of that has been taking part in the recording and mixing sessions for The Moors' new recording, our band's first full-length album. This has been an utterly fascinating experience. We've had three recording and overdubbing days in the studio in St Leonards, followed by extensive mixing sessions, and we hope this will all conclude on Saturday week (25 February) with a final mix-down to stereo. 

We've tried not to go overboard and basically to reproduce our distinctive style as faithfully but as well as possible. Richard did a little double-tracking of his guitar, Tom added Latin percussion to his kit on some tracks, Elaine dubbed melodica and tenor sax below some soprano sax lines. It was a novel experience for me to sing in harmony with myself. Only Jenny didn't need to do additional work, though one gorgeous fiddle solo was marred only by a single fluffed note - no problem, our engineer Roland digitally airbrushed it in a moment and there it was, perfect. Wow.

But more of that soon, when we release the album in May.

Meanwhile I've been getting the first two Reality Street books of 2012 ready for print. Paul Brown's A Cabin in the Mountains will finally be out after 30 years! The book is the third in a trilogy (after Meetings and Pursuits, 1978, and Masker, 1982), its six poem sequences being written between the early 80s and early 90s. Paul, who runs the Studio Bookshop in Brighton, was a major mover and shaker in the London poetry scene of the 70s and 80s (which reminds me that I need to return to that topic here), and someone from whom I learned a great deal about poetry at the time. It's good to have him back in print.

The other book is also not exactly new: Maggie O'Sullivan's Waterfalls comprises sequences and visuals composed in the 1990s, but has only hitherto been published in a beautiful but very limited Etruscan edition (75 copies I think), and Reality Street is happy to be giving it its first paperback publication.

So both of these will be going to press soon, and I anticipate publication in May or June. I also hope there will be a belated launch, perhaps in September, at which both poets will read. Again, more soon.

I've been especially heartened by the terrific response to Reality Street's appeal for Supporter subscriptions for the 2012 programme (which includes these two books). The vast majority of 2011 subscribers have already renewed this year, and we've picked up a few new ones too, so that the roster currently stands at more than 60. There's still time to join them!