What a lot of talented people there are living around Hay!
This week, a new magazine is being launched on the world, with a talk at Hay Festival on Friday 27th May on the Good Energy Stage called The Genius of the Marches. Many of the contributers to the magazine, authors and photographers, will be there for an evening of readings, stories and pictures.
The following evening, at Booths Bookshop, is the launch party. Copies of Issue 0 have already started appearing around town, in Addyman's Bookshop, The Old Electric Shop, Eighteen Rabbit and elsewhere.
I was given my copy at the Stitch and Bitch meeting at the Three Tuns last week (which I completely forgot about until they rang me up from across the road!). Another member of Stitch and Bitch, Tracy Thursfield, is the assistant editor, and Emanation crocheted the Green Man mask that features in one of the articles. In fact, on the way home from Stitch and Bitch that evening, we met one of the organisers (there was a big sign in the back of his car with the Keep logo on it, which was a bit of a give away!), and he told Emanation that her Green Man mask now has a back stage pass for Glastonbury!
The following day I met another of the organisers, off to deliver a few copies to the Drill Hall, for the Hay Festival booking office. He was very excited about how good the magazine looks, and said how helpful everyone they approached had been.
As I looked through the magazine, I noticed that quite a few of the contributers had also been reading from their books at the recent Vanguard Reading evening at Addymans. There are extracts from Addlands by Tom Bullough, and Under the Tump by Oliver Balch, along with an interview by Soma Ghosh with Nina Lyon, who wrote Uprooted (and which features the Green Man mask). Ben Rawlance, who wrote City of Thorns (about the huge refugee camp in Kenya) talks about the history of his local area and religious persecution.
Tracy Thursfield shows her writing ability (though she gives all the credit to the editor) with an article about Katherine Sheers and her silk embroidery, while Duncan Fallowell ponders the connections between the Welsh borders and Notting Hill via the street names.
There's also a restaurant review of River Cafe in Glasbury, and an article about the church at Patricio, photographs by John Bulmer from his long career, and more recent photographs by Billie Charity, and a cartoon, Bordertown, by Dix.
The magazine will be six monthly - the next issue will be out in the winter. It's a little expensive, at £10, but beautifully produced, and overflowing with local talent.
The website, www.thekeepmagazine.com has extra articles, including one by Sarah Putt, about the recent art installation she did in the window of one of the shops on the Pavement in Hay, and two by Tracy Thursfield - about purple dye, and about her day as the Queen of the May at Avebury! Soma Ghosh talks about the death of Prince, and there's another article on John Bulmer's photography, this time of the village of Pembridge in 1966.