Poetry Against Cancer


It seems an eternity since I’ve blogged here. Seriously, when was the last time I opened up my mouth while I was here? I’ve read all the recent blog posts, I think. Most of them, at least. I can’t really remember very much about what I read online, largely due to the fact that I tend to be doing three other things on my laptop at the same time.

Anyway, during my absense of unquantified length, I managed to get Poetry Against Cancer released (with much thanks to my cousin Rachel, who pretty much did all the design work – if I had been left to do all that and get the file ready for upload, it would have taken about six months longer than it did!). The “official release date” was March 23rd 2010.

As you can imagine, I was quite excited when two dozen copies of the book arrived at my house. And can I say, it looks amazing! I’ve read the poems several times already, so I wasn’t too pushed to read them all again, but to see them in the book, in a finished, paperback book, was a fantastic experience! And knowing that all the money from the books was going to St John’s Ward at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital was even better! For those of you who don’t know, St John’s is the Oncology and Haemotology ward at OLCH, hence the title of the book.

The book is available for purchase now on Lulu.com. And to make things better – if you order before April 6th, and use the coupon code EASTER you get 20% off your order! (possibly just off the price of the book – I’m not sure, this is a Lulu.com thing). I insist that you take advantage of this offer and help St John’s at the same time! 😉

In other news, I’ve had a few questionnaire/interview type things to fill in. One of them was an interview that will be posted on Tuesday by our very own Amy (on her own blog, I might add – http://confessionsofafashioneditor.onsugar.com/). The other was for Battlefront – you know, that TV show Rachel Phipps was on last year? Well, I’ve submitted the Literary Den campaign to it, and as a result of some factor in it (possibly because it’s so different to what other people would submit), I was asked to fill in a questionnaire to help the producers make up their minds!

Related to the campaign, I have my book club on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/TheNewBookClub) in which I review YA books. Every month I have a different book for people to read. It started with Skulduggery Pleasant, a fantastic book by Irish author Derek Landy, which is being following by Lord Loss, by another Irish author, Darren Shan. I promise you, it’s not all Irish authors. I just had to plan these first books to be ones I had time to read – Skulduggery could be read because I had a break in February, but the next couple of books will be something of a bother because I have exams in May. Hence, I’ve already read them. They’re there for the purposes of keeping the project going, even when I can’t read the books at the same time as everyone else.

The book club is one of the ideas for Battlefront, but it’s also something I’d wanted to do before I knew I had to fill in a questionnaire. What I’m hoping for is that I can expand on the idea and open it up to more than just YA / children’s books. For that, though, I need a second person, someone who’s able to read a book in a month and get a video review up about it, every month. The person also needs to have the books they’re going to read planned in advance, so that I can see what’s being read and state any problems I may or may not have with them. It’s not likely, but it’s just in case. Any takers?

And aside from watching all of Fringe Season 1 and a few movies, I haven’t been up to much else (well, college…) Of course, there’s a new episode of Doctor Who on tonight, and Heroes, AND Lost (the latter is a catch-up episode – missed it on Thursday and Friday, somehow.) So, there you have it. A blog post from a melted brain. Excuse me while I go refuel with tea, and possibly read a book…


So there’s this Poetry thing


Since November, I’ve been involved in a project to raise money for Our Lady’s Children’s Hosptial in Crumlin, Dublin. Well, specifically I’ve been running the whole thing, starting with the editing of a poetry book to raise money for St John’s Ward at the aforementioned hospital, the Oncology and Haematology Ward. The poetry book is called Poetry Against Cancer – it’s our way of fighting cancer through the power of words, independant of the Den as a structure, but with some familiar faces cropping up.

Included in the author line up are myself (I chose two of my best poems for this book), my friend Sophie, Brendan, Lisa and Paul B from the Den, and a number of people who I’ve either never before spoken to online, or I know through Twitter. The design work is currently being finished up on by my lovely cousin Rachel, who volunteered during her more unemployed days (she has a job now…)

Lisa mentioned wanting to talk about this book, probably because she’s in it. I don’t mind that, now that I’ve told everyone! But in all seriousness, promotion is important in this. We’re releasing through Lulu.com, mainly because (a) we don’t have spare cash to throw out for a printer and (b) I’m familiar with how Lulu.com works. We’re going without an ISBN, to keep costs down, obviously.

As for the things that are planned for the book…

There will be a two week, or so, preorder window. It works on the basis of the sooner you order, the sooner you get your book, so that people can get their hands on their copies as close to the release date as possible without waiting for Lulu to print it and ship it, which can take annoyingly long some times. It also offers the chance to raise money quickly for St John’s, and to get copies in for a potential launch.

I’ve already been to discuss a launch with a book shop in Dublin. He’s already said that putting the book in the shop as “normal stock” is out the question, because of the difficulties in selling it, and keeping track of how many copies they have, not because they don’t want to. But he might help arrange a launch, helping to sell the book on the night. That would be awesome! And it’s a chance for all available parties to come together for the night, have a chat and a bit of fun. Fun fun fun! I hope it works out well for us in that case, because the shop has a great vibe to it, and I don’t think the other shops in the area would be as willing to do it for us.

For approximates on the release date and the price.. well, judging by what Rachel gave the latest she’ll be done, it’ll be out by the middle of March. I’ll set a proper date when I know, but that’s the latest it should be, as far as I know. As for the price; assuming Lulu.com isn’t lying to me about the price, the book should be around €7-8. That’s the revenue on top of the printing costs, so… yay! It’s not too expensive, it’s awesome (I know because I’ve read all the poems two to three times and loved them all each time) and it’s for a good cause.

As well as the launch in the book shop that will remain unnamed for now, Sophie’s college said they’d sell some copies of the book in March too. How cool is that? I get super hyped about this sort of stuff when the news comes in. It makes my day. Of course, I cannot wait for the book to arrival in my post… en masse. If I get enough pre-orders, I’ll have a hundred copies of this book arriving at my house one day, and I’ll need to have a list of names to go with it. How cool would that be? I’d be busy shipping them, or distributing them to the right people, but it’d be worth it to raise the money for St John’s.

So, I think that’s all the plugging I have for tonight. If you want to buy a copy when it comes out, sign up for our mailing list by emailing me here: poetry.against.cancer (at) gmail (dot) com – copy and paste it, and remove the (at) and (dot) and replace them with the appropriate symbols, etc. You’ll get an email the moment the book is available for pre-order! Yay!

Also, we have a Facebook group – http://tiny.cc/pacfb – and a blog – http://poetryagainstcancer.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading! (and sorry, Paul B, if you’d planned on posting… I blame Brendan =P)