Introducing “The Cult of the Spiny ‘Hog” – Join Today – Don’t Delay etc.

We talked about the fact that you can pre-order the Trade Edition of Arfur yesterday, and hinted that there will also be a more ‘Deluxe’ edition available.

So I’m pleased as an extremely punchy Punch to be able to tell you about our very own private members club, ‘The Cult of the Spiny ‘Hog,’ which a maximum of 100 poets will be able to join from today.

To the left of me you will hopefully be able to see our mock-up of the Limited Edition ‘Deluxe’ edition of Arfur that Cult members will receive. This again has a cover based on a Kanoe West painting, and when we get to the final printed version, it will be super deluxe in terms of papers and finish. It will also be Limited to 100 Copies, each of which will be hand numbered and stamped and definitely not available in the shops.

But the Cult is about a lot more than a different cover on a book, as what we really want is to find ourselves 100 poets who will join in with everything we do and then go out there and help us spread the word.

It is about finding a group of poets who are both Readers and Writers, and so that is how we have set the ‘Cult’ up. We want people to be readers of our magazines and books and to take part in the competitions and challenges and then tell people about them, good or ill.

A lot to ask, perhaps, and worryingly expensive, so part of it is that we want to make it as cheap and as much fun as we can for this core number of people.

We’ll give more details about the individual parts as the day(s) roll on, but from today we will be opening up so that 100 people can join our Cult of the Spiny ‘Hog’ and come February they will receive:

1. A Deluxe Cult Edition of Arfur.

To celebrate our first issue we are planning two variations of the magazine:

The Trade edition is the ‘Normal One’ you will buy in shops and as a pre-order, and will boast a cover based on a painting, ‘The Blue Hole’ the artist Kanoe West has done specifically for the magazine.

The “Deluxe Cult Edition” will feature a different cover based on a second West painting, ‘Migration’ and produced using different papers and finish.

The photo at the top of the page is of a mock-up of the Deluxe magazine. This edition will be limited to 100 copies and will be hand-numbered, stamped and only available to Cult members. No reprints or Ali-style comebacks.

2. The ‘Road To Clevedon Pier’ Anthology.

This will be the first book we publish, based on the entries to our Anthology competition and we definitely want to put a copy in the hands of our cult members.

This too will be a Cult Edition and limited to 100 numbered copies.


3. Our ‘Fauxlaroid’ Artcards

As with the pre-orders of the standard edition, our cult members will receive copies of our one-off ‘fauxlaroid’ artcards.

The ones in the photo are mock-ups, so may or may not be included in the final designs, but we have always loved finding old photos in second-hand books, and so we wanted to place a few of our own at random in each copy of Arfur.

Going forward we’ll keep doing this, but the Fauxlaroids will contain poems that come from challenges set for members of the Cult. More on that another day though.

4. Badges

Silly perhaps, but as we keep on saying, every revolution needs a badge, and we have designed a special ‘Founder Member’ Cult of the Spiny ‘Hog Badge, that will only be available to cult members who join us for the first issue of Arfur. They will also receive the ‘standard’ Arfur badge, which I completely forgot to order and hence isn’t pictured here (oops.)


5. Anthology Competition

It is really important to us that our cult members are writers of poetry, and so each will receive a free entry into an anthology competition of their choice. This and the collection competition are a big part of the ‘Cult’ as we want people who are writers as well as readers, and the competitions are only the first part of this.


6. Collection Competition:

As with the anthology competition, we would love all of our cult members to enter one of our collection competitions, and so they will receive a free entry for one of their choice. Our current Collection Competition costs the same to enter as it does to join the Cult, so if you were planning to enter it – this is the best way (as basically the rest is coming free!)

7. Random Gifts For Cult Members

For the first issue, Kanoe West has donated one of his paintings – the one that is appearing on the cover of the cult edition of Arfur – and so we are planning to choose one of our members at random and send it to them. (It is just over A4, acrylic on canvas, so don’t worry that it will turn-up enormous…)

Similarly, we plan to randomly send all of the review copies of books, CDs and whatever else we review to cult members as gifts too.

We want to review a good number of books and pamphlets each issue once we get going and so it will be nice to spread these around our friends and see what they think of them.

The photo shows the current review pile, all of which will be sent to Cult members once the reviews are published. There will be more though, of that I’m sure.

8. Writing Challenges

I mentioned earlier in this post that we will be setting writing challenges to Cult members. The members themselves will get to choose the winners and things like which poems appear on future ‘Fauxlaroids’, but there will be other benefits along those lines too.

And that is about it.

Obviously, this is only a beginning and as I said we’ll put more detail up over the coming days about each of these things, but if you do want to join our lovely Cult of Poets, you can now do so HERE 

And whether you do or you don’t we would really appreciate it if you can help us spread the word. We realise we are starting from nowhere fast, and that we are scrabbling around in the shadows at the moment, so any chink of light you can share would be much appreciated.

Countdown to Arfur – We Have Covers

We mentioned a little while ago that cult artist, Kanoe West, had agreed to paint a picture for us that we could use for the cover of Arfur.

Top chap that he is, when it came time for it to be delivered, he arrived with a choice of two for us.

Now, being a little on the greedy side of the tracks we somehow managed to talk him into letting us use both of the paintings for the cover of the magazine. Not one for the front and one for the back as I think he assumed, but instead we had decided to have two editions of the magazine to celebrate it’s launch, the Trade Edition which is the one that will be available all over the place, and then a second one that is for a Limited Edition, Deluxe edition of the magazine.

More on that later, but I’m pleased to unveil the painting and the Trade Edition of ‘A Restricted View From Under the Hedge’ here, for the very first time. In fact this is the first time that Kanoe has ever had one of his paintings appear on the interweb at all, as it really isn’t his thing.

Well, apart from maybe if you noticed the picture earlier on one of our Fauxlaroids (ahem.)

Thanks to Kanoe, the man is a hero.

p.s. The ‘magazine’ in the photo is a mock-up – there is still plenty of room for your poetry and we still want submissions…