TL;DR: scroll down to vote for the poems you want Alexander Velky to perform at the “In the Men’s Room” launch show.
In March 2021, Doubtist Books is publishing “In the Men’s Room” by Alexander Velky (me, hi) and we’re going to celebrate the event, some time this year, with a recorded performance of some poems from the book. I might record this all at once, in one place, or over a few days in several; but it will be live, single-take recordings, and I’ll try to learn as many of the poems as I can by heart. I’ll then edit it all together and upload it to YouTube.
I want to mark the launch of this book with an event. But hardly anyone knows who I am, and fewer still like me. So, global pandemic aside, a tour (or even a single centrally located launch event, which we just about managed for volume two in 2015) might not be viable. I’d love to do proper poetry events here in Landskeria one day, but that day will not fall in 2021. So I turn, predicctably, to the internet.
I doubt events venues will be open by the time I want to do this. And if I booked one round here I doubt many people would turn up. So I expect to film on location in Landskeria (where I live) to an audience of either nobody or my wife and kids. Pending pandemic progress, and lockdown lifting, I might invite some local friends.
I’ve decided to harness the themes of nature and destiny to crowd-source suggestions for a setlist for a launch show, comprising any number of poems I’ve published to date, up to but not exceeding 50 minutes’ worth of spoken material; leaving room for breaths, beverages, anecdotes, introductions and upsets – and maybe one or two “covers” of other poems by better or more famous poets. This will result in a one hour show, with an intermission halfway through. I want to focus on poems from the new collection; but (for the fans, yeah?) I’ve opened up the back-catalogue of Doubtist poems in a poll, and everyone who buys a copy of the new book is invited to make one-to-seven suggestions for poems they’d like me to include. (With no requirement to actually watch the video once it’s done; but I’ll probably do shout-outs to people who select poems, and who doesn’t love a shout-out?!) This might sound convoluted; but it’ll hopefully be more fun than a dreary Zoom reading to the 2 or 3 people I could maybe persuade to attend in real time. Ideally this “show” would be performed live in front of an enthusiastic (or at least tolerant) audience, and simultaneously be streamed live. I’m not ruling that out; but I doubt that’s going to happen, given the circumstances and technology currently available to us. So we’ll make the best we can of it, and keep interested parties updated here and on the Doubtist Books Twitter feed.
Voting in the below poll is open NOW and will close about a month after everyone who orders a book by the end of March has received their copy of “In the Men’s Room”. Obviously you don’t have to have read ALL the poems to vote, and no one’s under any obligation to be involved with this at all. I can’t be bothered preventing anyone from voting either, as I really don’t anticipate the nefarious hijacking of this poll by the KGB to be a problem I’ll have to contend with. So the poll will probably close some time in April/May. Recording will hopefully happen in May/June. I’ll aim to have the remote launch gig uploaded to YouTube by June/July 2021. What could possibly go wrong? (Don’t answer that.)
Okay great, how do I vote then???
All 99 poems from Has Doubts volumes 1–3 are listed below in chronological order below. A few long ones comprising discrete composite poems (e.g. Tractors turning, Ad. space, etc.) have been separated out, mostly for reasons of space and time. You can request between one and seven poems; and because not many people are likely to do this at all, there’s a good chance your choices will end up in the final list. There is also a space RIGHT at the bottom for requests (poems that aren’t mine – either yours or by someone else – that you’d like me to read). Please email details of said requests to me, using your skills of deduction, or tweet them to @AlexanderVelky or @Doubtist. Depending on how many of these I get, I might not do them all. Then again, if I get none, I might just choose a poem to read (as I did in 2015, when I read WB Yeats’s “The Second Coming” over The Resurrection by Rima Ymadha, thus completely overshadowing the rest of my set). Where choices are tied I will roll a dice or something.