Thirty-seven more parcels in the post today, many of them review copies going hither and thither. And the PoemCards are done - I just have to pick them up from the printer and start sending them out. I'm dying for them to be ready because I need to use them myself. Also I love the whole idea of this. I want to send Matt Harvey'sTens Times Table to all my maths teacher friends . . .
Meanwhile, we've agreed the long-list for the STORY comp and it'll be on the website imminently. Long discussion and some re-reading went into this but it's reassuring to find that Sarah and I (both of us having read ALL the entries, and all the longlist at least twice) made substantially the same choices. Soon Janice Galloway will get the short listed stories.
A friend from university, Sue Brackell, sent me a moving self-published set of poems titled Losing Liam. The sequence of poems centres on loss, the loss of a son in his twenties. He was mentally ill and took his own life, and this book deals with grief, terrible grief, head-on. He would have been roughly the same age as my own son - a little older. The rawness of the feeling, the reality of the anguish is more intense than any comment I could possibly make. I read it and wept.