Through an emailing contact I heard about Seven Towers, another publishing outfit here in Ireland and was asked to go along to a reading of their authors, supplemented by an Open Mic evening (I can never resist those). The venue was a small pub in Fleet Street, Dublin - not as glam as the London city street, mind you!
Once the main readers, Noel O'Briain, Ross Hattaway and Oran Ryan settled into their pieces, the roar of Dublin buses outside the windows faded into the background. The format accomodated the small end-of-summer crowd very well: we sat around in a circle, like a group of storytellers at a convention and each reader was inspired by the last piece, so that each poem or piece of prose seemed to speak to the last, opening up possibilities. You could say that the theme for the night was communicating!
Oran Ryan's book is Ten Novels by Arthur Kruger - from the pieces read and the play on who is writing, I think this is going to be an existentialist investigation of the human condition - looking forward to reading that!
Noel O'Briain's book is Scattering Day - 21 Sonnets and Other Poems, a book of formal and free verse. Those that he read sounded well crafted and suited the ear of the audience.
Ross Hattaway's collection is The Gentle Art of Rotting, with diverse poems ranging through Ross's experience. He is not native Irish, coming originally from New Zealand, so his poetic voice sounds very different to an Irish one and allows a different reading and hearing experience, through his unique cadences in language.
The Seven Towers website doesn't do the same justice to these books, that physical touch and sight does: they are all in hardback and softback format, but the hardbacks are exceptionally well designed and produced, leaving the reader with a rare thing of beauty (they could well become collectors items), that no amount of my words could ever get across. Needless to say, I bought more books!