Grenade Genie – one month on

My latest collection of poetry, Grenade Genie, was released just over a month ago, slap-bang in the middle of lockdown, but despite all gigs and feature slots that were booked right through to the summer being cancelled, I’ve tried my best to get the book out there, one way or another.

In any event, my book, which continues to be available from my publisher, Fly on the Wall Press, as a printed copy, at £8.99, here, has now become available in digital format, at £3.99, here – and has, just this week, become available via Amazon, here. Copies can also now be obtained direct from me, so if you wanted a signed copy, please feel free to get in touch.

Below is a list all of the reviews and publicity the book’s received in the past month – just click on the highlighted links to read/see/hear more.

Radio
 

BBC Radio Kent – The Leo Ulph show, 20th May 2020 (me reading ‘The Greatest Poem’)
Soho Radio – Celine’s Salon (interview with Celine Hispiche, 30 minutes into the show)


Reviews
 

Bunny’s Pause – ‘These poems couldn’t have arrived at a better time. More than ever outspoken voices need to be heard over the corrupted. These poems are engaging and challenging, you will find yourself looking at the world filter free.’
Emma Lee’s Blog – ‘“Grenade Genie” is a wryly humoured look at life, subverting normal expectations and asks readers to take a new look at the commonplace.’
Juliette Writes – ‘This collection layers heat until it is undeniably explosive…This is unflinching poetry with a heavy backdraft. It is not a light read and it is all the better for it.’
Mark Aspen Review Blog – ‘…McColl is ruthless with his words: truly relentless but far from unwelcome, and very compulsive.’
Never Imitate – ‘Contemporary subjects, wry humour…The poems entertain whilst also provoking thought on a wide range of issues pertinent to a resident of a city.’
Poetry in the Basket –  ‘These poems travel flawlessly from the witty to the terrifying.  Well worth the bus fare! Can I go round again please?’
Write Out Loud – ‘McColl’s quirky brand of poetry is often political, but with a smile on its face. That’s a rare and welcome combination.’

Interviews
 

Puzzle Hall Poets – interviewed by Steve Nash
Everybody’s Reviewing – interviewed by Matt Nunn
Spoken Label Podcast – interviewed by Andy N


Performances
 

WinchesterFest – Livestreamed poetry festival feature, 18th April 2020 (1 hour set of poems from the book)
Fly on the Wall Press Performance Group – Online book launch, 23rd May 2020 (20 minute set of poems from the book)
Celine’s Salon – Gerry’s Club, 27th January 2020 (me performing ‘The Greatest Poem’ – pre-lockdown, but uploaded during lockdown)
Dead Darlings podcast – Episode 9: Open Mic special, 2nd April 2020 (me reading ‘The Greatest Poem’, 58m 40s in)

Poetry Scum – Scumiversary Online Extravaganza, 25th May 2020 (me reading ‘Lightning Strikes’)

Features

Arts Richmond – ‘No Longer Quite So Sure’, the first poem in my book, featured as ‘Poem for Today’, 29th May 2020
Blue Nib Magazine – my reading of ‘Literal Library’, the last poem in the book, featured in Blue Nib’s Ink Pods podcast.

And that’s it for now. There are a few more interviews and reviews due, and the Leamington Poetry Festival, at which I was going to feature with a 1 hour show on 4th July, has now been postponed to the weekend of 13-15th November 2020.

Anyway, thanks for reading and for all your support, and all the best through these strange and unpredictable times.

Pre-orders now being taken for my new book, ‘Grenade Genie’

Final GG Cover - as at 100320 (2)

Four years after my last collection was published, I finally have a new collection, Grenade Genie, coming out with Fly on the Wall Press on 17th April.

The book is an 80 page collection that’s split into four sections – Cursed, Coerced, Combative and Corrupted – with poems on subjects as diverse as Grenfell, the Iranian revolution, the refugee crisis, the curse of genius, the revenge of the environment, security passes, the NHS, gorgons on Oxford Street, and not being able to remember anyone’s name!

Pre-orders are now being taken by the publisher, via this link: https://www.flyonthewallpoetry.co.uk/product-page/grenade-genie-by-thomas-mccoll

There will be a London launch and, though nothing has been confirmed yet, that should be some time in May.

I will be touring the book, with the following dates already confirmed:

20th May Whisky & Words, Birmingham (Joint headline poet with Louise McStavick)
17th June Spineless Authors Night, London (Headline poet)
20th June Confluence Sessions, Rochester (Headline poet)
26th June Paper Tiger Poetry, London (Featured poet)
4th July Leamington Poetry Festival (Feature – 60-minute performance slot)
26th July Torriano Poetry, London (Joint headline poet with Harry Gallagher and p.a. morbid)
15th August Book Corner bookshop, Saltburn Folk Festival (Reading/book signing)

Book available now

Signpost 1942

My first full collection of poetry and flash fiction, published by Listen Softly London Press, is out now and available direct from the publisher here & from Amazon here.

Entitled Being With Me Will Help You Learn, the book contains 56 pieces originally published in magazines such as Envoi, Iota, the Alarmist, Rising, Push, Paper & Ink, Belleville Park Pages and Ink, Sweat and Tears.

Below is a poem featured in the collection:

PERVERT
I’ve only been living here for five weeks
and already I’ve got a pervert climbing into my garden at night 
and hanging women’s underwear on my washing line.

I’ve no idea who’s doing this, 
but all the villagers think the underwear is mine, 
and seem to see it as some kind of sign, 
a convenient excuse 
to make me 
the subject of intimidation and abuse.     

Once again, 
the postman has delivered his phlegm 
through the letter box.           

I’ve been left a black body bag 
by the waste disposal men.           

The council has granted my neighbours 
the exceptional right 
to play their music loud at night.           

In the street, as they pass, 
men make threats underneath their breath, 
and children flee, 
while women look at me with contempt and disgust.           

Kids shout “Pervert! Pervert!” 
as they push used condoms through my letter box.          

The word “PERVERT”, in red paint, 
has been daubed across my front door.           

At night, 
I can see the silhouette of the hooded pervert, 
accompanied now by a large gang, 
all of them helping to place women’s underwear on my washing line,           

and now it’s me 
who’s beginning to see 
it as some kind of sign…