“Poetry often enters through the window of irrelevance”
– so please keep all your windows open!
WOW! Sales of Stan Frith’s second book of poetry and verse Behind the Smile have already topped 1000 copies from which he has donated all profits (£18,500 to date) to the charity Depression Alliance. (Note: Depression Alliance has now been taken over by Mind). Stan insisted all profits from the book go to the Bath branch of Mind (Bath Mind) in memory of his son Jason who died after a four year battle with depression. (Note: there are over 6 million people in the UK suffering from Depression and last year 5000 deaths were attributed to the illness – 3000 under the age of 25). Having experienced firsthand the heartache, pain and anguish that hits a family when depression takes its toll, Stan is hoping that he can help redress that statistic not just from book sales, but by creating awareness and also by giving of his time as an Appeal Board member for the charity. People who have read Stan’s work have been moved to encourage others to buy the book. TV personality and author Stephen Fry sent a tweet to his 8.1 million followers (which caused this website to crash!), actor David Suchet re-tweeted it to all of his followers as did Sharron Davies, Olympic gold medallist. Great reviews have come from Sally Brampton (author, journalist and until recently The Sunday Times ‘agony aunt’). Tragically Sally committed suicide in May 2016 after a battle with depression); Tim Lott (author, journalist and TV/radio commentator); Mark Rice-Oxley (author and Guardian news editor); Rachel Kelly (author and journalist), Bel Mooney (author, journalist and broadcaster); Dr. W.L.O’Shea-Meddour, (author, poet and Royal Literary Fellow); ‘Suggs’ McPherson (lead singer with “Madness, musician, actor and songwriter); Lidia Vianu, (author, critic and Professor of English); Duncan Bell (retired Bath and England professional rugby player). Dave Robinson (Film & record producer; founder of Stiff Records).
Not a lot of support as yet from those in poetry ‘establishment’ e.g. poetry societies and organisations – but fingers crossed. It should also be noted that Stan achieved all of this success without Arts Council or Lottery funding which is unique. Public indifference to virtually all of todays contemporary poetry means very little of it sells (see section “Poetry….what’s that?” a paper submitted to the Times Literary Supplement and also published in the Acumen Literary Journal).
It is a fitting tribute to this author that the ex- CEO of the charity, Emer O’Neill wrote on the book cover “In donating all proceeds from this wonderfully sculptured book of verse to our charity, Stan really does exemplify the maxim ‘ Happiness is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.’ We congratulate and thank him”
To order a copy of Stan’s latest book and donate all proceeds to Depression Alliance please go to https://www.justgiving.com/BehindtheSmile/
If you are someone who, like Stephen Fry, David Suchet and Sharron Davies enjoys tweeting, you could help Stan by tweeting the message ‘Behind the smile’ a collection of beautiful #poems by Stan Frith published in support of @DepressionAll http://bit.ly/1mH3y8G
AS DID STEPHEN FRY:
Editor, Palladian Books