Cinnamon Press Book Launch

Jan and Adam of Cinnamon Press, fresh from their travels to research material for their own books (we’ll have to wait till October 30th to hear more about this) came to scorching, buzzing central Greenwich to introduce the work of two very different but equally intriguing fiction writers: Hazel Manuel and Jean Harrison.

The heat, the football and the lure of Greenwich Park next to the lovely Greenwich Tavern didn’t keep supporters and friends from joining Jan, Adam and Hazel (Jean was sadly unable to come) for an evening with a distinctive party atmosphere.

Jan (below) read the final pages of Jean’s moving The Fern Hedge. Written partly in stream-of-consciousness style, it deals with the tension, loving and caring surfacing in three generations of women of the same family as illness and old age take hold.

Hazel spoke beautifully about what made her turn to fiction-writing after a career in psychology and teaching, and how her own move to Paris and rural France inspired her to write Undressing Stone, her third published novel. Her enthusiasm and love for her heroine Sian was infectious, as she read two passages to illustrate the multifaceted character of the protagonist. What she didn’t reveal was the secret that follows Sian to France. For that, one has to read the book. Quite a number of people will do that straight away – the books (Jean’s too) sold out on the night and are now available on Amazon and from Cinnamon Press itself.

 

Events

‘Proper’ summer is finally here and, while I’m reluctant to start thinking about autumn, I am inevitably and joyfully beginning to plan the first event of the ‘new term’. The first thing I did was to look back at all the in-words events from the very first one in January 2017, and I realised that over five years I hosted 49 readings, including a number of lectures by Graham Fawcett. 49! What shall I do for the 50th? I’m thinking that, although it would limit the numbers in the audience, I would really love to have an in-person event at the West Greenwich Library, like ‘in the old days’. And you never know, I may even be able to get to grips with ‘hybrid’…. Of course, it will depend of many factors, and as soon as I can, I shall post a date if not a full programme.

I love the new animation at the top of my homepage. Thanks to Paul Kley for creating it. The words on the flying page are not a quotation but a whole poem, a favourite of mine, by the Italian hermetic poet Giuseppe Ungaretti. It is impossible to translate, though countless attempts have been made. I am sure you can guess its meaning and I leave you to create your own ‘translation’ of it. Ungaretti fought in the trenches and those two lines represent a moment one morning – pared down to a sense of the absolute, maybe also of possibilities?

As we emerge from a not-yet-over pandemic and wake up every morning feeling the dread of conflict but also aware of the beauty of spring and the blessing of nature and community, Ungaretti’s words are more than ever appropriate.

I am taking a break from organising things over the summer. Whether I will be as dynamic as the train above, or I’ll take time on a siding, I’m not yet sure.

Either way, I am always happy to hear from you with thoughts and ideas, and wish to thank you for your support so far.

Be well!