For the last three years Elbow Room has had the pleasure of publishing our University of East Anglia Special Edition. Every May we have had the chance to read, layout, print, bind and share work from a cross section of staff and students at UEA. We have published prose, poetry (including poetry in translation) and even script writing. Our collections have included work from BA, MA, PHD, graduates and staff. It has been a thrill and a pleasure to publish such extraordinary writers.
Completing the trilogy this year was a challenge but a worthwhile one. The printer inevitably ran out of ink at exactly the wrong moment, time was extremely limited and sleep became an illusive dream for a few days. But when all the copies of the special edition were ready those difficulties fell away and the joy of creating these pamphlets returned in full force.
The first moments of real joy came in getting to give contributor copies out on Thursday night at Elbow Room Live. Kicking of the bank holiday weekend early, and celebrating the completion of our trilogy, we hosted an evening of stories, poetry and music at the Bicycle Shop (a brilliant venue whose generosity made the night a possibility). It was our third live event in Norwich and once again had a brilliant evening. With performances from most of those published in the special edition we had a truly amazing breadth of storytelling. Headlining for the evening was the woman who made the UEA Special Edition possible, Elbow Room soliciting editor Kim Sherwood. Plus for the second year in a row we were honoured to be able to introduce George Szirtes to the stage. Elbow Room is always about art in many shapes and in honour of that we invited the incredible Various Guises to join us for two sets during the evening. We felt more than a little lucky to have such an exceptional band join us on stage. Once again however our highlight wasn’t the performers but the audience who listened and showed their appreciation of all our performers quite beautifully and made the night a joy to host and to be at.
The idea for hosting Elbow Room Live in Norwich and publishing our UEA Special Edition didn’t come out of nowhere, but in celebration of Turn the Page Artists’ Book Fair. One of our yearly highlights and favourite book fairs it is a warm, welcoming, gorgeous and exciting event. Well curated the TTP puts on a fantastic program and is truly supportive of the artists exhibiting. Most importantly though the people visiting are excited about the work and want to talk books and art. This year was no different and we had a fantastic two days. At the end of day two we where already planning what we might to celebrate the fair next year. We have some ideas, and over the coming year, as As Yet Untitled grows and changes hopefully some of these ideas will become a reality.