Grenade Genie – one year on

A year has now passed since my book, Grenade Genie, was published by the fab Fly on the Wall Press, and following on from my two previous blog posts – ‘Grenade Genie – one month on’ and ‘Grenade Genie – six months on’ – this latest blog post of mine collects together all the reviews and publicity my book’s received since the end of last year. They’re all listed below – under six headings – just click on the highlighted links to see/read/hear more.

Radio

East London Radio – Talking Stories 49, 27th March 2021 (me reading ‘The Phoney War’, 49m 40s in).

Reviews

Fly on the Wall Press – Blog post, by my publisher, giving a round up of reviews of Grenade Genie over the past year (including reviews from Confluence magazine, The High Window magazine, Emma Lee’s Blog, Mark Aspen Reviews, Bunny’s Pause and Juliette van der Molen).

Interview

Forever After, Between the Pages – interviewed by Damien Donnelly

Performances

Poetry Performance – Online event, 6th December 2020 (Featured poet, 15 minute set)
Poetry at the Beer Cafe – Online event, 17th February 2021 (5 minute set, 15m 40s in)
Celine’s Salon – Online event, 3rd March 2021 (me reading ‘No Longer Quite So Sure’ on the No. 425 bus, 13m 35s in)

Feature

Eat the Storms – Episode 1 Season 2 (6 minute set, on 10m 10s in)

Poems from the book

Grenade Genie – International Times
Carry My Eyes (Above and Across the Barbed Wire Border): Extract – Write Out Loud
Jan, Jen or Jean – Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis
Jan, Jen or Jean – Arts Richmond

And that’s it for now. If you did want to buy my book, it continues to be available from my publisher, Fly on the Wall Press, both as a printed copy, at £8.99, here, and in digital format, at £3.99, here. It’s also available from Amazon, in both formats, here, or from Bookshop UK, here, and signed copies can also now be obtained direct from me, via my Big Cartel online shop, here.

Many thanks for reading, and for your continued support, and all the best, as ever, through these strange and unpredictable times.

Grenade Genie – six months on

Following on from my previous blog post, from back in June, ‘Grenade Genie – one month on’, this latest blog post of mine collects together all the reviews and publicity my book’s received since May. They’re all listed below, under six headings (Radio, Reviews, Interviews, Performances, Features and Poems) – just click on the highlighted links to see/read/hear more.

Radio

Soho Radio – The Soho Hour with Clare Lynch, 22nd July 2020 (me reading ‘No Longer Quite So Sure’, 32m 30s in).
Brum Radio – Brum Radio Poets, 26th July 2020 (Fly on the Wall Press showcase, interview and readings).
BBC Radio WM – Henry Liston show, 3rd September 2020 (me reading ‘Nightclubbing in Brum, 1988’).
North Manchester FM – Hannah’s Bookshelf (Not Quite Live) Poetry Special, 19th September 2020 (interview and reading, 1hr 6m in).
East London Radio – Talking Stories 43, 22nd September 2020 (me reading ‘The Greatest Poem’, 49m 50s in).

Reviews

The Dead Pixels – ‘That’s what the finest poetry can do, offer us an insight into the human condition.’
Paul Robert Mullen – ‘a strange mixture of very entertaining, thought-provoking, wildly unsettling, and somewhat prophetic.’
The High Window – ‘In these poems McColl shows he is a real poet writing honestly and perceptively, exploring what it means to be alive in these unsettling times.’
Twickenham Tribune – ‘McColl is ruthless with his words: truly relentless but far from unwelcome, and very compulsive.’
Nicola Heaney – ‘McColl’s language is at times furious, at times mischievous – but always earnest.’
Confluence magazine – ‘This book is very much a voice for these times, an oracle proclaiming the digital takeover, consumerism and the cognitive dissonance this brings.’

Interviews

Here Comes Everyone – interviewed by Raef Boylan.
Poetry Corner – interviewed by Heather Moulson.

Performances

Poetry Archive – Online performance, 26th May 2020 (reading ‘Lightning Strikes’).
Fire & Dust – Online event, 4th June 2020 (Featured poet, 15 minute set).
Isolation Literary Festival – Online festival, 8th July 2020 (10 minute set, 1hr34m in).
Fly on the Wall Press YouTube channel – Online event, 23rd August 2020 (10 minute set).
Fly on the Wall Press Performance Group – Online event, 20th September 2020 (30 minute set, randomly chosen poems).
Poetic Impact – In-person live event, London, 3rd October 2020. 3 clips (uploaded 23rd October 2020): ‘The Bunker’, ‘Security Pass’ & ‘Carry My Eyes’.
Dragonflies Spoken Word – Online event, 6th October 2020 (Featured poet, 15 minute set).
Poetry Performance – Online event, 1st November 2020 (2 reviews of event, one by Heather Moulson and another by Matthew Grierson).
Bridgewater International Poetry Festival – Online festival, 19th November 2020 (5 minute set).
Write Out Loud, Woking – Online performance, 26th November 2020 (5 minute set).
Spineless Authors’ Night No.6 – In-person live event, London, 11th December 2019. 2 clips (uploaded 3rd December 2020): ‘Statement by the Pedestrian Liberation Organisation’ and ‘The Surgery I go to has a Two-headed Doctor’.

Features

Poetry London – Lockdown Listings
Fly on the Wall Press blog – The People Who Shaped My Writing: Tom McColl
Chris Rice Cooper blog – Backstory of the Poem # 205: Thomas McColl’s ‘Statement by the Pedestrian Liberation Organisation’
The Word Bin – Episode 80 (Tom McColl ‘bins’ the word ‘Police’)
Sunday Tribune – Writers Influences series, No.5: Tom McColl on Stevie Smith

Poems

Grenade Genie – International Times
Jan, Jen or Jean – Places of Poetry
Socialist Workers on Oxford Street – Places of Poetry

And that’s it for now. If you did want to buy my book, it continues to be available from my publisher, Fly on the Wall Press, both as a printed copy, at £8.99, here, and in digital format, at £3.99, here. It’s also available from Amazon, in both formats, here, or from Bookshop UK, here, and signed copies can also now be obtained direct from me, via my Big Cartel online shop, here.

Many thanks for reading, and for your continued support, and all the best, as ever, through these strange and unpredictable times.

New storefront – signed copies of my books now available to order

I’ve set up a new storefront, via Big Cartel, from which signed copies of my books can be ordered and, as a special introductory offer, it’s 15% off any purchase for the whole of November – so, if you’re looking for something new and different to read, or are just looking for an unusual, quirky gift to buy for someone at Christmas, then look no further: simply click on the link below!

https://thomasmccoll.bigcartel.com/

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 McStravick)
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 – Being With Me Will Help You Learn

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…