portals by Rosie Roberts, our first foray into full-length non-fiction, has arrived and is available to preorder here!
124pp, 110x170mm, perfect bound.
The publication comes with a recommended £2 donation for FIVEXMORE, a project raising funds for research into mortality rates of Black womxn in pregnancy and labour.
SPAM Press are bringing you a special launch for the occasion tonight (Thursday 6th August) on Zoom, at 7pm. Rosie will join poets Daisy Lafarge and Lotte L.S. for readings, plus a film screening, Untitled (eclectic poison) 16mm colour, 05'39, 2020, from Alex Hetherington.
Event starts at 7pm and registration is free via Eventbrite. You will be sent the Zoom link and password at least two hours before the event begins.
Praise for portals:
Rosie Roberts’s portals starts with what is held – seven days, a shoal of references, a city’s coat of arms – and it signals the swing of a bell across times and histories that, in its collectivity, can perhaps encourage resistance. To my mind, the local sigil of bell, bird, ring, tree and fish, which is based in negative assertion, has always seemed like a strange demand, promise and reminder to put on a place and its people. It weighs heavy, like west coast weather can. Perhaps it is a motto we deserve, for even our miracles are burdened. portals, through its non-assertion of form, in the loosening of control, reminds us that the thing that is not, is not the same thing as what is forgotten. Rather it aligns more with a wilful amnesia, which is neither local nor recent, but human, colonial and long-shadowed. Statues (bells) are cast and toppled as if in the same moment. Through Roberts’s relational attentions, schools of fish express how we might move together and literary butterflies are pinned and named; this is capture made in the name of expansion. The imagined bell, the arc’d intention etched in air, is like when we circle phrases in a text to alert to, to remember. Roberts’s portals reminds us that as readers, as citizens, we have the potential to be an absorbed collective relinquishing amnesia. The chime, the ringing, the ring are not singular but communal, time-propelled and schooled. This is not quite the same as the fabled murmurations of Central Station starlings, but similar in that their remembered, relational movement is ongoing, and we, through action, as an aggregation, can become a shoal, can flourish.
Elizabeth Reeder, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at University of Glasgow, author of An Archive of Happiness (Penned in the Margins)
A portal, to portal, to be portal…? Going a walk with Rosie Roberts is to be heightened into parts of speech, to be stilled into feeling looks, to be spiralled into a moment. Stay with her for a week in Glasgow and slip between glitches, catch snags and tears in the veil, feel sigils conjuring charms: here is the lived experience of green urban capital. Here are openings in the ordinary, resonances with the elusive, the soberingly real. Across these gorgeously spaced pages, these letterbox images, is a deeply felt, urgent compassion, a grieving for the seed that doesn’t grow, an exquisite feel for what for is realised. Scotland at its most-concrete-and-most-earthy, botanical and hot-housed, releases, through commitment and attunement, a wonderful collectivity, a multiplicity that floods the body with joy and irrigation! ‘all the bells ringing… clanging through technology and air’! portals hangs out in the balance of the Clyde, teeters in its teetering. Each thing on the crest of a potential, hold your breath, and swoop. ‘Can you hear glimmering…’ ? Oh Glasgow, you are seen.
Rhian Williams, co-editor of The Weird Folds: Everyday Poems from the Anthropocene (Dostoyevsky Wannabe)