Tag Archives: XTC

From XTC to FML – two DIY publishers turned professional writers share their stories

9 May
Gill Sims in conversation with Emma Smith of Mum's the Word

Gill Sims in conversation with Emma Smith of Mum’s the Word

As the creator and editor of several publications covering an array of subjects over several decades, from a photocopied magazine about 1990s indie and dance music, to a blog about arts festivals (this ‘un), and a grown-up business news publication with actual advertising on it, I was excited to hear how two authors had embraced the DIY ethos to carve a career in writing.

My first stop was the Reading Room at Swindon Library, where Mark Fisher was talking to an enthusiastic crowd of XTC fans.

For 10 years Mark and his friend Paul Badger wrote and published the band’s fanzine, Limelight.

Surprisingly, the idea for a fanzine came before the idea of writing about XTC.

“Fanzine culture was in the air,” said Mark. “Kids were speaking for themselves rather than relying on the inkies [Sounds / NME / Melody Maker] and you either formed a band, or formed a fanzine about one.

“So the idea of writing a fanzine came first. After that we asked ourselves: who about?” Continue reading

Squandermania with Don Share and Barry Andrews at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

4 Oct

I guess the obvious question is: did I manically squander my evening last night? So I won’t ask that.

The music was very Cinematic Orchestra / The Free Association (David Holmes) – sinister moody-style jazz travelling from 1970s Shaft to Lemon Jelly.
And Don Share, editor of Chicago-based Poetry magazine, recited to the music.

Continue reading

Don Share bonds with Dog at the Swindon Festival of Poetry

2 Oct
Don Share

Don Share

After a welcome tea, hearty Lower Shaw Farm style, festival organiser Hilda Sheehan introduced her poetry hero, clutching a bag.

The contents included a mug (for copious tea) and soap. The latter wasn’t a comment on Hilda’s personal hygiene; Don Share – the bearer of the gifts – was mindful that Hilda is a long time avid listener of his podcasts, in the bath.

It was an internet romance that brought Don, editor of Poetry magazine, from Chicago to Swindon. Don, Hilda and Michael Scott bonded on Facebook over a love of band XTC in the seductive form of Swindon resident, Barry Andrews and, Don said, ‘the magic of Hilda and Michael’s generous personalities.’

“British poetry is so exciting to me,” he enthused, but it’s hard to come by the work in the States. “I want to take British work back with me and bring them to the attention of the American public.”

His first poem, Being Philosophical, was dedicated to the festival mascot, Dog.

Don is at the festival for the duration. See Squandermania, the wonderful baby born from a collaboration between Don and Barry today, 8pm at Swindon New College.

Written by Louisa Davison