Brokensleep Books is well known for its innovative publications. On 30 June, Footprints, a new book of ecopoetry edited by Aaron Kent and Charlie Bayliss, will be published, featuring a wide range of poets and visual poets. I am privileged to have three visual poems in this, based on oil slicks and pollution. The blurb reads:
‘What sets new ecopoetry apart is that it is written on the edge of a precipice. Our generation is faced with a unique set of dangers, led by a bunch of inept and callous politicians who live and lead for the short term, mostly in the pocket of big business. New ecopoetry engages with the current reality of our planet, in many ways these poems are a record of where we are, a document that will hopefully reveal something to future generations about our experience of the world. Footprints is a book about hope, a book that takes us into the future, showing us the new ways of living and thinking that are possible.’
This month, a lovely review of my book Snapshots of the Apocalypse was published in the literary magazine Mslexia. A part of it is below:
My interview with Amanda Earl, Canadian experimentalist, editor, publisher and lover of whimsy, is up at 3am Magazine. My interview with writer Sarah Schofield, author of the excellent short story collection Safely Gathered In (Comma Press) was also published at 3am Magazine.
A couple more reviews of my book are out. Sharon Eckman for Everybody’s Reviewing described it as ‘fabulously inventive’ and ‘full of darkly funny one-liners’ here. The Macuniun online magazine reviewed it too, saying, ‘Wimhurst’s immense creativity is revealed in her ability to imagine multiple different detailed worlds’ and praising certain stories for being ‘funny and whimsical, fluidly weaving magical moments in a recognisable reality.’. It is comforting to get such great feedback. Each of these reviewers, despite predominantly positive comments, had a couple of criticisms of the book too. I think one has to take them on the chin and learn from it. One criticism was that one story was ‘too bizarre’, which I am secretly reassured by. I sometimes feel I curtail my Surrealist proclivities in order to get published.
A lot happening last week. The zoom launch of my book of dark, quirky short fiction, Snapshots of the Apocalypse by Fly on the Wall Press. The Leicester University Creative Writing blog kindly featured the book here. My essay ‘Fabulous Fiction in an Era of Falsehoods’, which mentioned the book in a broader discussion of the importance of speculative fiction, was published at Nothing in the Rulebook here.
Colchester WriteNight, a group of local Essex writers, meet regularly (including online during the pandemic) to discuss writerly things, inspire each other with writing exercises, and eat too many biscuits. Recently, they launched their ‘Open Book’ of tales, which celebrates 10 years of their existence and includes vignettes and stories conjured up during lockdown 2020.
‘From goats and Rollers to gallery nudes, pork scratchings and the increasingly elusive Willow Wiffle, these stories will make you laugh, cry and shudder.’ It features a wide range of voices and genres. The gifted A L Kennedy has written the introduction and the book is edited by the combined creative talents of Sue Dawes and Emma Kittle-Pey. My story in it, ‘Ms Wiffle’s Open Book’, is about a book that inadvertently engenders fist fights in a sleepy village.
The collection also features stories by Sarah Armstrong, Sarah Bates Kendrick, Annie Bell, Penny Benedetti, Helen Chambers, Tim Gardiner, Phil Hurst, Wendy James, Jonathan King, Toni Peers, Mary Pullen Deacon, Clare Shaw, Doug Smith, and Alice Violett.
On Saturday 27th November 2022 there will be a launch at Colchester library 2-5pm. Unfortunately I can’t attend due to health constraints but it is sure to be a good event with plenty of story reading, fun, and mask wearing. You can book to attend the event here.
You can buy the book here published by Patrician Press.
How exciting that my first book of short fiction, Snapshots of the Apocalypse, is being published by Fly on the Wall Press in January 2022. It’s now on preorder from my lovely publisher here.
‘In these dark, witty short stories, Katy Wimhurst creates off-kilter worlds which illuminate our own. Here, knitting might cancel Armageddon. A winged being yearns to be an archaeologist. Readers are sucked into a post-apocalyptic London where the different rains are named after former politicians. An enchanted garden grows in a rented flat. Magical realism meets dystopia, with a refreshing twist.’
An iridescent, compelling collection. Darkly magical in all the right ways.’- Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch and Speak Gigantular
‘Tales of the unexpected… a refreshing and humorous collection illuminating the author’s vast imagination and gift for merging people, place and politics in well crafted stories. Wimhurst’s cultural allusions and social commentary might make you laugh or glance sideways, but there are always sparks of human hope amongst the dystopian debris. One ticket here please, open return.’- Emma Kittle-Pey, author of Gold Adornments and Fat Maggie.
‘Katy Wimhurst finds hope in dystopias; colour in the bleakest of worlds. Her art is in combining charming whimsy with weighty social issues and, in the balance, delighting and surprising her reader. Her rich imagination and fresh, clean writing is, at all times, a pleasure.’- Petra McQueen, founder of The Writers’ Company
‘These are fresh and exciting pieces, and I loved the sense of these unsettling off-kilter worlds, reminiscent of M John Harrison’s You Should Come With Me Now (Comma Press). I think readers will enjoy the author’s skilful balance of wit and playfulness with dark and frightening things; magical realism with a melancholy and often chilling twist.’- Anna Vaught, author of Saving Lucia and Famished.
‘Katy Wimhurst’s stories are enchanting. They appear beguilingly simple yet contain layers of meaning and mystery. Although often comical, each story has a hidden steel core – an environmental message that we need to cherish our planet and be compassionate to one another. She specialises in dystopias – in societies overwhelmed by the threats we fear – but even here the endings sound a positive note. We remain enchanted.’ – Dorothy Schwarz, author of Behind a Glass Wall and Simple Stories about Women.
I was privileged recently to interview (via email) Dr David Hartley, author of Fauna (Fly on the Wall Press) and Incorcisms (Arachne Press), for 3am Magazine. He writes ‘strange fictions about strange things for strange people’. We talked vegan noir fiction, Jurassic Park, autism, Kafka, cockroaches, and purple prose. Read the interview, ‘A Bestiary of Short Fiction’, here.
You can find out more about David Hartley on his website here.