Sunday, 15 January 2017

Ghost Story IV
















Ghost Story IV will follow on from Ghost Story I to III looking at horror over a series of at least 30 poems told in 30 days.

In previous stories, we explored horror through a tram crash in Salford where a ghost came to warn a man about the forthcoming crash to a shooter at a un-named train station and a poisoned rat king running amok, Ghost Story IV will follow a new theme and turn the volume up louder than before.

In this story, although the core characters from Part I to III will remain Andy and Michelle, a human and a ghost trapped in a whirlwind of a puzzle of a up coming un-seen horror creeping into play, Part IV will focus on a character who came into the forefront Ghost Story III right at its end, Mandrake with his war that was hinted at during Part III now boiling over and exploding from one point onto the streets and into the underworld.

Andy and Michelle will still be an important part of this story and the full narrative, as will Inspector Brooks and Ghana and all over surviving characters (so far) but Ghost Story IV will look at things at a slightly different way before spinning back into focus and dragging the reader on a gore filled journey

As always told over 30 days, Ghost Story IV will consist of short and sharp poems designed to build up the tension and by the end of the sequence will leave the reader battered to the point of exhaustion but filled with an excitement what next?

And where next?


Due to start: April 2017

More details here 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Review of last year / a few hints of things to come in 2017 / 2018

Review of last year..

Some quick notes on things that happened last year..

  1. Ocean in a Bottle pretty well managed a EP or album throughout all of 2016 which I am pleased over and it should carry onto in 2017 all being good.
See here for more details – https://oceaninabottle.bandcamp.com

  1. Spoken Label– my interview podcast with writers, poets and all kinds of artists and I managed to do 36 separate podcasts throughout 2016. It is currently sleeping but the second season of it should start towards Spring 201The archive for this can be heard - https://spokenlabel.bandcamp.com/

  1. I maintained doing solo poetry readings through 2016. Although none were videoed – highlights of some audio can be heard on my own bandcamp page Andy
    More details here - https://andyn.bandcamp.com/

  1. Work has been progressing slowly but surely on my third full length book ‘From the Diabetic Ward’. Expect a release date in 2017.
  1. My second full length book The End of Summer was re-released at the end of 2016. It can be bought here and has had some excellent reviews https://www.amazon.co.uk/End-Summer-N-Andy-ebook/dp/B01LY7YR9K
  1. A split book with Nick Armbrister, Europa II following on from our well received anti war book in 2014 also followed. This can be seen here

  1. A steady stream of publications has also followed this year. These can be read here

  1. My live band A Means to an End alas finished in 2016 but not before releasing their debut album.
This can be heard and purchased from here

  1. Ghost Story III – my third Napwrimo Supernatural series was released and blogged

     (Part 1 to 3 were also released in a book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Story-Andy-N/dp/1326774522)


Plans for 2017 are varied but will hopefully include:

  1. From the Diabetic Ward
My third full length poetry book.
 
  1. Ghost Story IV

  1. The Wall ‘series’
(A series of epic fantasy – swords and sorcery poems set in a world which has a land called The Wall in it – the first one is now called Enemy of the Wall. All being good when the third is done – I’ll then be able to start looking for a publisher for the book and then work on the next three)

  1. Acers and Jokers (A joint comedy novel with Adam focusing on two very stupid kids akin to the Inbetweeners who get fed up of seeing the local drug lords make loads of money and decide to join in with chaotic results)

  1. The Author Series – more likely 2018 at least but this will be a rewrite of childhood novellas wrote focused on a character called The Author who is a Charles Bukowski ish kind of character mixed with John Carter from Mars who stumbles his way into all kinds of adventures.



Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Post little tib bits from Write Out Loud Stockport

A few of you know I go to Write Out Loud Stockport and always love getting the report from John Keane who runs it with his always fun write ups.

Here is the one for December which features my pieces only:

Lightening the mood, Andy gave us a remix of an old poem, a fictional thank you letter by Snow White to Father Christmas – predictably full of fun, frolics and (cough) innuendo.

Caught up in the spirit of the season, Andy read us The Snowman Came Alive, a poem vaguely inspired by Raymond Briggs’ soulful fairy tale. Sadly, the Snowman’s ruminations came to nought in the end. And we were lucky it wasn’t Simon’s Snowman…

Andy delved into The origins of Evil (with the Birth of Evil aka The Origin of Billy the Kid) with an evocative piece about a gangster in Stretford who went by the name of Billy the Kid. He ended up in Boot Hill – no surprises there, then.

Andy’s poem (From a new sequence Europa II – Part VIII) seemingly contained the deathless line ‘Moaning like Lanterns’ – a phrase worth the price of admission right there.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Birth of Evil (aka the Origin of Billy the Kid)






















Lost in gutter talk,
The history books
Suggest it was his two brothers
Who took him to the fair
At Longford Park
Boasting of dead fireflies
Instead of fish in little bags,

And follicles of lights
In the ghost house
Almost invisible from
The roller coasters
Descending from the sky
Like space rockets
Replacing sledges.

Crossing the meadows
Blanked in snow
With echoing laughter
The reports stated
Then missing balls
At coconuts stall
Then footballs

Before proclaiming
It was fixed
And gave up wandering
Over to the roller coaster
Leaving Billy stood there
Protesting it wasn’t

Sucking cheap gobsuckers
Hiding his tears
Turning a perfect illustration
Into a pastoral scene
Of fireworks
Kissing the moon

Tying themselves up
In his mouth
As a attendant said
‘Six shots for two quid, son’
Accompanying over each shot
‘Lower, lower, lower’

Crossing shots over the tins
Like pennies in keyholes
Wrestling with uneven prayers
Chiselling his nerves
Over sweatshop erected fingertips
‘Lower, lower, lower’

Knifing through
His childhood
One shot after
The other
With each target
He shot through.


(According to the history books Billy the Kid 
was a known hitman in Stretford in the 1970s) 

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Ghost of Dukinfield Cemetery (New Poem)
















Catching her tears in the breeze
From one row of headstones to the next
Some days you would see her ghost
Walking up and down
Like a private on patrol.

Entwined with the sun
Just before sunrise
Creeps over the hill
Cascading into a silent film
As the shadows sank away

Repeating his name over
Like a broken tape machine
Caught up in a tangle
Of half forgotten prayers
In at least two different languages

Echoing in the wind
Butterfly shaped with regrets
In a tidal mystery of anger
If things had been
So very different

Over skeletons of feelings
Before they turned
Into scraps of meanings
After the burnt out end of summer
Into a willow shaped autumn

Following him
To the grave
Within weeks
Filled with nothing
But regret

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Summer will rise again










Two short poems from my recently released book 'the end of summer' (https://www.amazon.co.uk/End-Summer-Andy-N-ebook/dp/B01LY7YR9K)
 
I
 
Summer will come again
and the rain will stop spraying
the air like spilled pepper.
 
Leaves will stop crunching on the floor
and sleet will stop reducing
your shoes to tears.
 
The wind still stop slamming
shut your back door
and poppies will stop dancing
in the wind.
 
The mood will soften before
totally changing
and the blood in the sky
will change to a different texture,
 
Stripping away
the mistakes of the past.

II
 
There is no summer left
like a seaside shop on reduced hours
with one eye on the horizon.
 
No more summer
with the heavens thumping themselves
together trying to wake the sun up.
 
No more summer
and no more blue whispers in the sky
wanting to keep on dancing.
 
No more summer
pressed up to your nose
whispering I love you in your ears,
 
Or a gate which had been
swinging open
which now shatters like glass.  

Monday, 17 October 2016

The End of Summer is now available













As advertised previously, my second full length collection ‘The End of Summer’ has now been released by Goya Press.

Originally released in a hard to find limited print on demand run last year, this new version specially released by Goya Press contains new artwork, specially re-edited by the author and new additional material , the book was written over a five year period from 2011 to 2016.

Quoting what was wrote on Amazon the book was originally started as a creative way to show how the writer was dealing with a newly diagnosed major change in health, the book developed over time to talk about the change in season, in this case from the end of Summer into the beginning of Autumn, mirroring much more than just a change but an emotion that overcomes us all at major turning points in our lives.

Told often in taut, short little pieces, the book invites comparisons with the poet Hugo Williams but also shows a love of music through two of the author’s own favourite music groups with July Skies and Epic 45, which explores the Englishness of the countryside in sparse, echoing brush-strokes which often need more than one read to breath the images he portraits.

With an introduction by noted American writer, Amanda Silbernagel. ‘The End of Summer’ is a book that tunnels into memories, creating new emotions at the end of it.


(Press copies are available)

Some thoughts by fellow writers:

These are highly evocative poems, each one painting a distinctive picture in the mind. There are some beautiful images, loaded with melancholy and nostalgia, and some effective descriptions that come from left field.
Karen Little, Author of Filled with Ghosts, shortlisted for Saboteur Award, 2016.

A very special collection capturing the both the every-moment of perpetual seasons as well as the vital minutiae of daily life, all wrapped up a whirl of words like autumn leaves kicked up by the last of summer’s winds. Andy takes nature’s contradictions and her false promises and casts them over our human condition as hopeful and nostalgic disciples of the glorious sun and the beautiful snow. Nestled in the middle sits Andy’s powerful five-part reflection on the 2011 Manchester Riots which seem to burst from the pages like a thunderstorm, soaking us all to skin, only to be blown away again by the ebb of time and memory. This is how Andy’s poems work; brief illuminations as the sunlight breaks through the cloud, inviting contemplation and rewarding frequent repeated reads. Each piece is its own finely-cut gem awaiting your discovery, each as precious as the last. Set some time aside and dive in, before the light fades…"
Dave Hartley, Author of Spiderspeed

Andy N is a true innovator and emerging powerhouse in the poetry genre. He combines haunting and vivid imagery with historical anecdotes that create a unique experience for any reader.

Andy's style mimics some of the compositions we revere from yesteryear, shedding a shadowy light on personal experiences as well as the tales of many others 'in a candid way signature of his style and touch.
Keith Fuchs aka Myth the Poet

Brave, human and elegant. Touching the sensitive parts of the marvels of schools, parks, funerals, rain, cars, rock t-shirts and mercy. To connect the personal and universal my friend the poet has been busy, digging into the mystery of the ordinary life. 'Words soaked in the northern seasons. Imagery animating the deserted and people landscapes of woods, roads and bridges. Moments in the moonlight. Scenes fading into scent and tears 'runs hot and cold with the warmth of family and the icy nothing of the waiting grave. Pleased to be a fellow Mancunian and a fellow writer with a man who possesses such a voice.
Jude Cowan Montague, The News Agents

Andy writes the type of poetry that you feel as well as read. Every poem is beautifully crafted and perfectly emotive. I can’t recommend Andy’s poetry enough. There are readers out there who struggle with poetry but these words can speak to anyone and I can promise they will leave you craving more
Stephanie Williams

Andy has a way of turning the seasons into his canvas. He writes with such rawness about love and loss and connects grandiose images to delicate moments with skill and ease. The back and forth pattern between the natural and the intimate is melodic. His use of photographs interspersed between the poems provides a lovely picturesque context into the poet’s emotions. Andy balances the serious with the humourous throughout his work.

In his poem, “Out of Reach,” he begins the poem “Our hotel room felt like/ a battered birdcage,” but then juxtaposes those beautifully somber lines with ones that read, “like one of your/ constantly starving cats” written just two lines below.

To use his own words, Andy’s poetry is “buried in silent magic.” Reading The End of Summer is like looking in the mirror, and rediscovering yourself in “a wordless language.” There are poems in this book for all readers, all seasons, and all stages of love and loss."
Jocelyn Mosman, Author of Soul Meets Body.

A wistful collection, laced with melancholy and longing.
Emma Whitehall

What does autumn mean to you? This collection observes the changing seasons of life, and how even the distant prospect of change can shape your present. So, so, relevant to us all. Haunting.

Just finished reading your book, and wow, I expected to feel emotional after that but not so much!
I like the recurring theme of the end of summer throughout the poems, it somehow feels as if it is a summer difficult to let go.
I loved that piece from "Journey":
"And the air smelling pepper before chocking out soot like it was holding onto the sky,
Asking you to wait behind the line while dancing on diamonds as the journey home never felt more far away." I found it very evocative and I could perceive the painful and anxious waiting of the arrival.
I found the poem "Womb" very enigmatic, and I liked a lot the sharp contrast between the sunrise and the war, and not being able to forgive, it is a poem made of multiple flavours.
Among my favourites:
-"Almost from the beginning", I like a lot the imagery and the way it's written, as if the most important part is timidly left at the end.
-"The end of summer", I love the imagery, so evocative and intense, it feels as if it was an animated painting!
-"Migration", really resonates with me and reminded me of some old memories which are painful looking at, and that I somehow left there, in the places where I have been living.
-I particularly loved the second part of "Summer will rise again", the imagery is so intense and I was really able to picture the images and the feelings you were describing, I felt them on my skin and nearly shivered, as if I was feeling the cold after summer breeze on the seaside, and the sense of loneliness of desert streets, closed shops and ended love! I loved it!
-"End of the world", very evocative of smells, colours and imagery
-"Staircase in the Wind", it's just so beautiful and so unconventional!
-"Threads of a Jumper", moved me and resonated with me and my past memories... I sometimes too think about all the people in my past, and all the memories spent together, which some of them are gone, and I find myself somehow crossing them out my life with a sharp, painful final gesture.
-"Swallows and Amazons", I just love it!
-Nice turn in the end of "Next Summer", which caused a nod in my throat and nearly made me cry, so beautifully painful the end, so intense and melancholic... it felt nearly unfair to have it at the end of the book, and to be left with that bunch of unspeakable tears.
Thank you very much for sharing this with me, if felt as a nice present to enjoy in autumnal nights, just now that the summer ends.

Poets, and indeed a discerning public, know instinctively that poetry is much more than structured words.  Poetry is communication, it is compassion, and perhaps most of all community.  Over the last decade or so, Andy N has emerged as a poet with belief in the People`s voice.  His provision to young people in particular, (but not exclusively), of a platform for their work through his Spoken Label has the true respect of his peers.

Some poets write for specific, (often literary), audiences - many indeed never revealing anything of their inner selves in the process.  We never truly know what they`re thinking as they strive hard to impress with their knowledge.  These traits cannot be attributed to Andy N - his writing is reality itself, aimed at real people with real problems in an unforgiving World.  His observer`s pen reveals a tender and touching vista of freshly remembered past friendships, fading souvenir shops signalling The End of Summer and indeed the spontaneous fire-starting, (which was the Manchester riots 2011), graphically described in Edges of the Flames 1 to V - which surely must rank as a modern urban masterpiece.  (II. The looters who breathed white-hot flames with the rage of splattered hammers.  III.  Their cigarette lighter humming for a second before being thrown in cars.  IV.  Flames danced high ..like a hip-hop re-imagining of The Wicker Man in the fire.)

We all seek clues in order to make some sense of our busy and sometimes muddled lives.  Andy`s clues are different, a treasure hunt rather than detective novel.  His great talent is to watch and walk away unseen.  Furthermore, he`s a poet unafraid to reach for and describe moments he can`t quite hold on to.  Happiness`s and intensities quietly slipping away, poignant memories in hotel rooms - all with the apparent absence of regret of the accurate observer.  Andy`s words are often adventure(s) best left unexplored - memories ...gathered in forgotten shadows.  In his own words he unpicks the lock (of his heart) and walks away without regret.

The End of Summer is a collection ranking Andy N with a new wave of People`s Poets freeing themselves from an overbearingly literary approach to the poetic art.  Our Summer`s are indeed ending - at least as we knew them.  No longer can July and August be regarded as prime English holiday months.  We should treasure the memories portrayed in this book - for all too soon global warming will disrupt them forever,  Indeed, we are left weeping daily for the return of Summer.


What better than to sum up Andy N`s talents than with a quote.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Albert Einstein 1929

Lead us with your imagination Andy N - the pleasure of the journey will be all ours.
Potting Shed Pete


Andy N delved deep into The End of Summer…, with Parts 1 and 2 of Summer will Rise Again.  Again, more wonderful lines of seasonal sorrow: ‘There was no more summer left, no more blue whispers in the sky’ really grabbed my ear. There was also a beautiful personification of Summer itself, speaking to us with enormous sadness as if regretful of its impending demise.
John Keane

Like the second album the second collection is probably the most difficult. With echoes of the first Andy smoothes this transition, blending light with dark. It may be 'The End of Summer ', But the collection doesn't herald a winter of discontent.
Gordon Zola

Andy's collection feels crisp like the fallen leaves, that have started to colour in the autumn sun. A perfect read for shorter days and for cosy nights infront of the fire.
Marie Lightman

A captivating mix of emotion and greatly entertaining.
Katie Haigh