As many of you know, I will be embarking on a tour over the coming months, on which I shall be reading some of my poems in front of mildly perplexed and bewildered audiences around the UK. I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some of the most common questions I get asked in response to this news.
1. Will books be on sale – and will I be signing them?
Yes, the plan is to partner with a local bookshop wherever possible and have them on sale at the event. I have made a note to bring a pen with me should anyone want their copy signed.
2. Will I actually be visible at the event or do I plan to read the poems behind a curtain / wear some elaborate disguise such as a giant papier-mache head?
Unfortunately, I will be present and visible at all events. Tickets have been discounted on this basis.
3. Are you intending to be two and a half hours late for all your events, like you were for that one in Glasgow the other week?
No, it is my intention to be on time for all future events, despite travelling by network rail to most of them. I am factoring in a cushion of 72 hours into my journey times to offset any rail delays.
4. Will I be accompanied by my cat?
Sadly not. Buttons, the beautiful cat who appears on many of my author pics passed away 18 months ago. While I now have two new cats, both seem keen to distance themselves from my work, preferring the poetry of Simon Armitage and Carol Ann Duffy.
5. Will I read that poem about the Daily Mail?
This is not really a question as such, more just a place-name followed by a question mark. The same goes for ‘Scotland?’, ‘The North-East?’ and ‘Melbourne?‘. If the question is “Will I be doing any shows in Cornwall (Scotland, the North-East, Melbourne etc)?” then the answer is that I would love to, but I’m all booked up for 2023. Over time, I’d like to read my poems in all sorts of places. Even the Isle of Wight.
7. Are there tickets still available?
About half the shows are now sold out – and some are close to selling out – but there are currently tickets still on sale for the following (in chronological order): Swindon; Portsmouth; Worcester; Morecambe; Buxton; Lytham St Anne’s; Kendal; Sheffield; Sale; Banbury; Caerphilly; Crickhowell; Clevedon; Bellaghy; Cheltenham; Frome; Chippenham; Bridport; Southampton.
Information on all the shows are available through the link below:
8. I am a policeman. How likely is it that I will find myself bitten if I attend one of your events?
That incident is behind me. I have learnt my lesson the hard way. Please be assured that precautions are now in place to prevent any recurrence.
Thanks very much and hope to see some of you in the course of the year.