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Controversial poetry collection darkness is where the stars are by patrick jones suffered attack last night when Waterstones Managing Director, Gerry Johnson, cancelled its book launch in the face of threats of protest from Stephen Green and Christian Voice [Wales, UK]:
Open letter to Waterstones' MD

Dear Gerry Johnson

Cinnamon Press do not consider the action of cancelling an agreed launch at the last minute in the face of protest from small, but orchestrated group of religious extremists either reasonable or necessary.

The commitment to host the launch was reneged on at a point when we could do nothing about it and whilst we were travelling and out of contact, involving us in incurring considerable costs as well as the lost revenue of sales. As a small press this kind of loss can effectively wipe out all profit from a poetry title. I have no doubt that if Cinnamon Press made a commitment to Waterstones and cancelled at the last minute causing costs we would be receiving a bill.

We are also not convinced by the reason given for cancellation. Waterstones was one of the major supporters of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses – the decision to stock it and promote it in your stores caused more than potential disruption. Although Waterstones’ made it clear they could not tolerate death threats against members of Waterstones’ staff, they did not give in to these demands and threats, so it seems more than disingenuous to claim it is not appropriate to have a bit of shouting or boycotting at the launch of a small press poetry collection. [...]
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