writing

Today’s Climate Forecast

And onto today’s climate forecast,
where we can expect to see a prolonged spell of inaction,
interspersed with patches of hazy promises
across many areas. 

Over Westminster and other centres of government,
a build-up of hot air will cause inactivity
to soar to record levels over the coming days,
in spite of the high pressure.

Elsewhere, a front of chronic misinformation
will sweep in from the east,
bringing with it a band of climate change deniers
and the chance of scattered falsehoods,

while powerful gusts of idiocy and ignorance
look set to blow across social media.
Outbreaks of ‘We just got on with it in 1976’
and ‘It’s called the British summer, mate’ are likely.

In summary: unsettling.

Days Like These – available to pre-order

I’m delighted to tell you that my new book ‘Days Like These: An Alternative Guide to the Year in 366 Poems’ is now available to pre-order from your local, friendly bookshop.

It’s publishing in October, just before tea time.

It contains a poem for every day of the year, each one inspired by an event associated with that day – from the invention of television to World Bee Day; from Ada Lovelace Day to the founding of the NHS; from the death of Agatha Christie to the beheading of Charles I.

It’s taken me a few years to compile this. There are quite a lot of days in the year, I have discovered – typically at least 365 – which means a lot of poems.

Subjects I’ve written about along the way include: quarks, morse code, Wittgenstein, Blue Peter, bananas, unicorns, Barbie, the unification of Italy, the Rubik’s Cube, water, Scrabble, Waiting for Godot, the moon, Jane Austen, Esperanto, beer, Matt Hancock, Lego, kindness, Countdown, and Elvis.

All pre-orders are very gratefully received, not least because they can help both the publisher and the booksellers understand the demand for a new book and plan accordingly.

Thanks for your support!

A Night In with Brian Bilston

If the above doesn’t sound too dull or terrifying a prospect, you might be interested to know I’m doing an event with Fane on 3rd February.

I’ll be reading some poems from ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love?’ and having a chat with the brilliant Ian McMillan.

More details – including how to get hold of a ticket – are here:

https://www.fane.co.uk/brian-bilston

Alexa, what is there to know about when the paperback is coming out?

I’m delighted to receive some advance paperback copies of my book ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love?’. It publishes on 3rd Feb and is available to pre-order.

I’ve taken a photo of it next to a plant because that’s what book bloggers sometimes do if a cup of cappuccino is unavailable.

Photo of a book next to a plant

It’s available through all the bookshops, particularly the independent ones. The book may or may not be appropriate for Valentine’s Day or be put to a variety of other sundry uses.

I’ve also attached a few poems from it, what always used to refer to as ‘bonus promotional content’.

Some books

It’s December so I suppose I should mention these books in case you might want to incorporate any of them into your Christmas shopping.

50 Ways to Score a Goal’ is a collection of poems, perfect for the football obsessive in your life, whether they’re aged eight or eighty (but not thirty-four for some reason).

Alexa, what is there to know about love?’ published earlier this year in a splendid-looking hardcover edition. It’s a collection of poems about love (plus a few other things like Brexit and pasta), making it the ideal gift for Sagittarians, vegetarians and Presbyterians.

Diary of a Somebody’ is a novel, in the form of a diary, about a complete loser called Brian Bilston (no relation). It also contains over 100 poems and for shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Goes well with a tomato and basil sauce.

You Took the Last Bus Home’ is, at heart, a book with some words in it. Many of these have been arranged into poems along with punctuation marks and the occasional line break. Appropriate for mums, uncles, nephews and sister-in-laws.

And ‘Refugees’ is my forwardy-backwardy poem in picture book format for children. The poem is accompanied by the beautiful artwork of José Sanabria.

They’re available from a bookshop near you. Unless you’re in North America, where generally you can only get hold of You Took the Last Bus Home and Refugees.

Also, you can find all the titles here, alongside some of my favourite books: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/brianbilston

I hope to bring news quite soon of a new book on the way but more on that anon (and on and on).

Diary of a Somebody – ebook

If you’re an ebook sort of a person, you might like to know that Kindle version of my novel ‘Diary of a Somebody’ is available at the bargain basement price of 99p at the moment.

Please note cat is not included in price of ebook.

And if you’re more of a papery sort of a person – I know I am – paperback (and hardback) copies are also available, of course, through all the independent bookshops, as well as Waterstones, Blackwell’s and the like.

And should you need any more persuasion, this is from the Daily Mail’s review of the book:

“I mostly found this man irritating. I also preferred the prose to the poems even though I know some are bad on purpose.”

Oh, and it got shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award.

Here’s the ebook link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Somebody-Brian-Bilston-ebook/dp/B07LCR1YW1/ref=nodl_

New books!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. Sorry about that. Or maybe it’s a good thing. Opinions may vary.

Anyhow, I have managed to publish a couple of new books since my last post. Quite how this happened, I don’t know.

In January, my new collection ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love? published. It’s my first proper collection since ‘You Took the Last Bus Home’. It contains a sequence of poems about love in its different varieties, as well as other, more mundane preoccupations. It looks like this …

And then a few weeks ago, I had a book of football poems for children published. It’s called ‘50 Ways to Score a Goal’. It’s bright green and looks like this …

Both are available through a bookshop near you – or indeed any of those online bookshops that you get nowadays.

That’s it for now. Stay safe and well!

Today I shall listen to the news

Today I shall listen to the news and the football scores
and the tally of the dead. Intermittently, I shall pick
at the crossword and the biscuit tin, and stare out
of my back window at a squirrel as he scurries along
my fence. Later, there may be a film to watch. But for now
I shall listen to the prospects for a Liverpool team

looking to bounce back from a disappointing midweek defeat,
the rising unemployment figures, and the tally of the dead,
while attempting to make inroads with the north-west quadrant.
It is thought likely for there to be some changes made
to the side which started on Wednesday evening. I shall
be brought team news from all the featured grounds today

amid continued concerns over travel this Christmas, and
the failings of Test and Trace. It is regretted that in the present
circumstances, my newspaper is unable to process
crossword prize entries. Tomorrow, I shall buy some
more biscuits and possibly a pint of milk, and listen
to the news and the football scores and the tally of the dead.

A new online bookshop for the UK

A new online bookshop has launched today, in support of the UK’s independent bookshops. Do bear it mind when Christmas shopping.

I’ve created a page on the site, featuring my own titles plus a list of ten novels which make me laugh, and some of the favourite books Ive come across since following the excellent books podcast, Backlisted.

https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/brianbilston