One of the many and varied pleasures of having The Ballad of Syd & Morgan out there in the world comes from hearing how its readers have subsequently returned to the works of Syd Barrett and E M Forster which inspired it – or in some cases are now hearing and reading them for the first time. I’m not sure that Joe Hedinger, who works with Henry Layte at Propolis Books/The Book Hive, was overly familiar with the Syd Barrett canon before he read my novel, but he certainly is now. His appreciation of the work has led him to write an ingenious and rather moving little poem which has the Barrett stamp all over it – not surprisingly, since every last word is taken from Syd’s collected lyrics. With Joe’s permission, I have pleasure in reproducing below ’Scuse me, there’s a song on your shoulders.

Joe Hedinger is clearly a young man of multiple talents. Just last week he was named in a 6-strong shortlist for Bookseller of the Year at this year’s British Book Awards, otherwise known as ‘Nibbies’:

Meanwhile The Book Hive itself is also in the running to defend its 2018 title of Best Independent Bookseller in East Anglia. I feel proud and humbled to be mixing in such exalted company.

Here’s Joe’s lovely poem:

‘Scuse me, there’s a song on your shoulders_final (1) (1)