Big Up The Golden Hour Book Massive!

January 7, 2010

Obligatory Golden Hour Book Vol. II Hype:

Since publication in June 2009, the Golden Hour Book Vol. II has had some great reviews from a wide range of sources. I’ll save your eyes the trouble of actually reading the whole things and just print the brilliant blurbs here. However, in case you think we’re faking, you can check out the links to the real actual articles!

* Edinburgh International Book Festival Programmer, Roland Gulliver, admits he has the GHBII on his bed-side table in Canada’s National Post newspaper.

We blush.

* The often brutally honest Scott Pak of Me and My Big Mouth Blog says:

“A very impressive literary and music anthology. A dinky little paperback packed with stories and poetry, most of which are very good indeed, and a 20 track CD full of bands I have never heard of but also mostly splendid. (****)”

Read the whole thing here. We did. Many times.

* The Edinburgh Evening News selects the GHB II as one of their favourite local reads of the year. Considering Edinburgh’s Unesco City of Literature status and super-star literary status, we were choking on our Christmas Nog. The back of book blurb reads:

“An eclectic, experimental, gently explosive treasure trove that brings together some of the creative combustions which light up the Forest Cafe.”

Doesn’t that sound sweet as sugar? Read the whole review here.

* Just to prove that we can’t please everyone — This folk at The Beat Surrender say,

“the book itself didn’t do a great deal for me, the poetry I could take or leave and aside from a couple of short stories I found it heavy going and had to force myself to get through it.”


The good news is:

“The CD though makes up for the book they really have landed some peaches for us here. Not everyone hits the spot out of the twenty but they have more than enough quality through the majority of tracks to warrant a purchase.”

Boom! Even the guy who hates the book says you should Buy the Book. Convinced yet?

* Well, The Skinny said you should stuff your stocking with GHBII. They say:

“To those weary and wary book hunters, the reluctant gamblers and the open hearted, pick up GHBII, it’s a sure bet.”

You don’t get many “sure-bets” in life. And even the ones that you think you have end up with the card table fliped over and a gun in your mouth. Just ask Kenny Rogers. We promise that if you Buy the Book, it won’t get that ugly.

* The mostly music-loving kids at Unpeeled gave massive respect to both the book and cd. I can’t resist posting a good chunk of the review mostly because their site’s motto is so bad-ass:

“We like music. We listen to it. We write about it. We don’t do favours & we don’t tell lies.”

Sound trustworthy? – here’s some of what they said:

“The CD sounds like that tent you find in the middle of the madness of one of the larger festivals. You know the tent, the one where you have no idea who any of the people on the stage are, but you find yourself staying there all day just to see who’s on next. With over 20 contributors, including the likes of Billy Liar, Withered hand, Skeleton Bob, Johnny Berliner, Chandra and The Black Diamond Express amongst others, I can almost guarantee that your new favourite song is contained within, waiting to be discovered.

‘When we Were Broke’ by Ericka Duffy is possibly one of the most beautiful and true stories I have ever read. It’s been a long time since a story has made me choke up. Other highlights, which are hard to pick out from a book made up of highlights, include ‘The Birds, Like’ by Phil Harrison, a wickedly captivating tale told from the point of view of a frustrated bully, and the poem ‘Lunch’ by Aiko Harman, if only because it mentions peanut butter, which in my world is a condiment. All in all this collection is a superb little package that you will return to over and over, highly recommended. ”

I can’t find the whole review on the Unpeeled site but could find it on Robin Grey’s. His song, Women, was also lauded by Unpeeled. You must hear it.

* Lastly, the great literary magazine Northwords Now produced a flattering review which has yet to appear on-line. Here’s a small blurb:

“Reviewing this collection is like trying to herd cats into a sack — beautiful cats, strangely furred rippling, not quite tamed. It is a bold and commendable venture: to give voice to a number of (relatively) unknown artists although many of the writers have been short-listed for or won prizes. The Forest is to be applauded for the originality of this project. There is simply too much to cram into this review …. Best thing to do: buy a copy. Invite some friends round. Open some bottles. Host your own Golden Hour. Dance to poetry. Then do it again next week.”

We like that suggestion! Mini-Golden Hour’s all over the world, linked by satellite, linked by love of words and music, linked by a sense of literary fun and musical adventure. Won’t you join us?

Buy the book.



If you enjoy words, the answer is ‘yes’. If you enjoy sounds, the answer is ‘yes’. Even if you have not answered ‘yes’, the answer is still ‘yes’. For The Golden Hour Book Volume II is not just a book: it is also a natural resource that may save your life. Its pages will burn without being consumed. It keeps tigers away.

The accompanying CD is equally essential: it can be used as a plate, or better still, sharpened and thrown like a shuriken into the throat of your enemy. Even if the end approaches, there is still the consolation of the words and sounds within — fine poems, stories, and songs from over three dozen poets, writers and musicians — all of which are guaranteed to take your mind off things.

Paperback: 192 pages
Published: 22 April 2009
Author: Multiple Authors
Cover & CD Design: Magda Boreysza
ISBN-10: 0955645638
ISBN-13: 978-0955645631
Amount: £8 + P&P

Special thanks to Ron Butlin who gave us these advanced words of appreciation:

“There is genuine wit, deep feeling and real entertainment in this most enjoyable volume. Light-hearted and serious by turns, The Golden Hour Book Volume II contains some of the best and freshest new writing I have come across for quite a while.”

Ron Butlin, Edinburgh Makar

With Big Love to the Scottish Arts Council and all the hard-working volunteers at The Forest without whom none of this would have been physically or financially possible.

The Golden Hour will be touring again in March and June. If you want us to come to your city, town or village contact me now. Otherwise, look out for our upcoming dates!



New Chap – DREAMS OF THE CITY by Kirsti Wishart

November 2, 2009


Now available for a bargainous £2 is the ninth in a series of chapbooks printed by Forest Publications: a collection of short stories entitled, Dreams of the City by Kirsti Wishart.

Here’s an excerpt:

“The final straw was lying in wait for them on the doormat when they came back after a fortnight’s holiday. Both of them had taken turns trying to barge the door open until James brought out the thin wooden spatula Chris had laughed at him for taking. ‘See. Told you this would come in handy.’ After a good two minutes of shoving, the wad of paper jammed in the gap between door and floor, gave and…” Read more!

Product details

  • Title: Vol.1 Iss.9 ‘Dreams of the City’
  • Author: Kirsti Wishart
  • Pamphlet: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Forest Publications (18 Oct 2009)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956338822
  • Amount: £2


New Chaps from Forest Publications

October 13, 2009

Now available at our on-line shop:

Not only is The Golden Hour Book (and CD) Vol. II for sale at many fine places we also have three new chapbooks. Read an excerpt and buy a book at

Craig Bayne – The Island

C8cover Buy this Book with Paypal!

Item Details:
Vol.1 Iss.8 ‘The Island’
Author: Craig Bayne
Description:Read the Excerpt

Amount: £2

Jason Morton – Old and New

C7cover Buy this Book with Paypal!

Item Details:
Vol.1 Iss.7 ‘Old and New’
Author: Jason Harrison Morton
Description:Read the Excerpt

Amount: £2

Russell Jones – The Last Refuge
C6cover Buy this Book with Paypal!

Item Details: Vol.1 Iss.6 ‘The Last Refuge’
Author: Russell Jones
Description:Read the Excerpt

Amount: £2

August is the Cruellest Month

July 27, 2009

Well, T.S. Eliot might beg to differ but, to me, “August is the cruellest month.” At least if you live in Edinburgh and haven’t fled to find peace in the Highlands or Greek islands or anywhere but here. For those of you, like me, who are still kicking around and are willing to risk getting the evil Fringe Fever here are some good free poetic and literary happenings to keep you busy. I’m involved in most these things in some way so do come along, say hello, and tell me what shows not to see. Also — below are details on new books from Forest Publications and Read This Press + Calls for Submissions.



* Thursday 30 July — 6.30pm, Free —- Edinburgh Central Library —- James Kelman reading from and talking about his book Kieron Smith, boy which has bagged a swathe of prizes.


FREE but ticketed and booking is essential. Email or call 07784 31 9868 to secure a place. For more details see:

* Friday 7th August — 6pm, Free — Edinburgh Central Library —- Words and Music from Cool America with Don Paterson: American poetry chosen by poet Don Paterson and read by distinguished film actor Angus MacInnes backed by a full-on jazz band! Followed by the brilliant St. Jude’s Infirmary with their dark dreamy swirl of literate melodic beauty. And, I’m honoured to be reading a poem with the band so you must come. Also, free booze. Basically — Not to be missed!

  • Friday 14 August — 2pm, Free — Edinburgh Books — Jim Haynes: A Roving Life — Jim Haynes is a living legend. Flâneur, writer, publisher, former bookshop owner and host to thousands over the years he’s spent welcoming strangers to his Parisian atelier for Sunday dinner, his is a life more spectacular than most. We can’t wait to hear his tales, in conversation with Ryan Van Winkle.





Wednesday 26 August, 12 – 3pm, Free — St. Andrew’s Square: Poetry in St Andrew Square

A very special poetry event: Our Poetic Orators will wander the gardens offering up poems to picnickers and passers by. In the old oral tradition — our performers will entertain and inspire. Come to listen, come to enjoy.

New Books From Forest Publications and Read This + Call for Submissions:

  • Three New Chapbooks from Forest Publications: Wow! Now available are chapbooks from Fiona Morrison, Dave Coates and Russell Jones. Only two pounds and available at The Forest Shop. Very limited print-runs so snap up your copies now and come in to browse our other books from Edinburgh writers such as David Gow, Jane Flett, Ericka Duffy and Sandra Alland. Collect them all!

  • Sharks Don’t Sleep is the title of the brand new chapbook from New Jersey-based spoken word poet Eric Hamilton, and it’s published by Read This Press.  Described as “a book that crackles with life,” and “a grimy, romantic and fucking funny look at the world,” Sharks Don’t Sleep is a beautiful 32-page chapbook, hand-made with high quality cardstock covers and embellished with a black ribbon bookmark and original artwork. Find out more here:

Poets Needed — For hybrid photo / poetry project.


CONTACT: See poster below for details:poetsneeded

Two New Chapbooks from Forest Publications

July 25, 2009

morrison_coverTwo hot new chapbooks have been released by Forest Publications, the short story Find it in the Dictionary by Fiona Morrison, and a collection of poems, Cover Story by Dave Coates.

Morrison’s story follows the lives of a brother and sister, disjointed over the years by war,  pregnancy,  illness and the insistent trauma of the family dictionary.

Here’s a taste:

dandelion, dan’di-li-en, n. a common yellow-flowered composite (Taraxacum officinale) with jagged-toothed leaves. [Fr. dent de lion, lion-tooth]

It was the first word she’d looked up in the dictionary and the first flower she’d ever picked. How the white whiskers that floated softly through the wind were anything like lions’ teeth she did not know. As she lay on the ground to reach the mass of white flowers that strained upwards to break free from the edge of the towering cliff, she had leaned in for the kill and blown them completely bare. All except one. Her hair hung over the side of the dark rock, striving to dip its curling ends into the black waves, but it was given to the wind and not the sea as she stood up quickly with the largest dandelion – the chosen one – and ran home.


Dave’s collection comprises ten poems, arranged in three loose sections – Life, Death and Belfast. Here is one from the Belfast chapter, “Giant’s Causeway”:

Giant’s Causeway

Mist crawled upwards from the surface,
the cluttered sky turned grey and we retired
from the tectonic sea and gathering smirr
to a pub you knew. Only the birds knew
what the sea had said, what it kept to itself.
Earlier that morning a hundred feet above the basalt,
I caught my breath and followed you
a few steps behind along the machair.
You gave nothing away as you gathered
palm-sized stones from a cairn by the cliff-face.
I named haresfoot, razorbills, chimney-stacks,
causeway tales. You sent skimmers over
the cliffs as I yammered, disguising
cover-stories in the tide’s howl and skirl.

Both books and more are available at The Forest Shop — 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, 0131 220 4538 and will be availible on-line shortly.

Call for Submissions – TWEE

June 25, 2009


Deadline: 30 August 2009

An open call to comic artists and illustrators.

Forest Publications seeks work from artists who combine words and images in various ways.

Our latest anthology is an imaginary encyclopaedia: a compendium of knowledge that is true, half-true, false, absurd or very confusing. A reader will come away from this book intrigued, amazed, mystified, puzzled, perplexed, bewildered, bemused and befuddled but not necessarily informed.

Your entry should explain something. It can be a piece of disinformation, speculation or thorough nonsense. It could be about how a tractor works, what heart burn really is, an explanation of long-distance running or zen. Facts are fine but, for this project, they are not the ultimate point. We’re looking for unique points of view on a wide-range of objects and ideas.

Technical specs:

You can submit multipage strips, spreads or single-page images in colour or black and white. The format of the book will be 245mm x 168mm (portrait) with a bleed of 3mm past the edge of the page on all sides. If your image needs to reach the edge of the page, don’t put anything important in the bleed zone where it will get chopped off. If you intend to do a spread, please keep important things away from the centre of the image as there will be a deep gutter. (These specs aside, if you already have finished work in a different format, we might be able to fit it in anyway.)

Submissions should be emailed as low resolution jpegs (make sure that any text is readable, though) to thiswillexplain@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . Write ‘Submission’ in the subject line. Alternatively, you can send us a good quality photocopy by regular mail. The address is: Magda Boreysza at Forest Publications, 3 Bristo Place, Edinburgh EH1 1EY, United Kingdom. If your piece is selected we will ask you to send a high quality image file.

Deadline: 30 August 2009

* See more details here.

The Cat’s Gravity by Jane Flett

June 9, 2009

Forest Publications is proud to present a beautiful new chapbook from Jane Flett.

The Cat's Gravity by Jane Flett

The Cat's Gravity by Jane Flett

The Cats’ Gravity is a love story with a cast of subway cars, skinned knees, bitten lips and glitter.  Published alongside a selection of poetry and with original artwork by Tom Moore.

Here’s a sample:

“Suddenly you realise that if you could dare to hold eye contact, you could begin anything. There are entire subways packed with people with whom that is all it would take; catch their eye and hold it tight in your fists, keep it. Once you have it they will follow you anywhere, perhaps leap head-first into clouds that smell of burnt hair and insanity, that curdle like plastic in flames. Can you feel the incredible surge of opportunities, multiplying ferocious and exponential like amoebas? Little wonder you cannot move: you cast your eye downward to books and metro guides, and blush. You realise in an hour you could be anywhere, in the midst of anything. This is so tempting to set in motion, like spitting off bridges or spilling of secrets, you want to shove things into the path of gravity and watch them fall, inexorably; splat.”

Available to buy from the Forest Café (3 Bristo Place) and Word Power Books (43-45 West Nicholson Street), and online at, all for a bargainous £2!

Isbn: 978 0 9556456 6 2

Forest Publications — Ericka Duffy’s, “The Succubus”

April 1, 2009


The Succubus is a story set in Southern Ontario that follows a group of friends through small-town malaise and beyond, where they discover the ties that bind can easily unravel.

Available to buy from the Forest Café (3 Bristo Place) and Word Power Books (43-45 West Nicholson Street), and online at, all for a bargainous £2!

Here’s how it begins!

Annika absentmindedly inspects the tear in the center of the cushion. She trails her fingernails down it, feeling, abstractly, as though the vinyl is skin, and the sponge inside guts, when she notices a crumpled piece of paper wedged down the side of the booth. She pries it out. It resembles a white carnation before she smoothes the page against the tabletop.”