We have received an email response from Gerry Johnson, who I think is the Chief Executive of Waterstone's explaining why they decided to cancel Patrick Jones' book signing. Here's what he had to say:
Waterstone's does occasionally receive requests that we remove books from sale. Our answer is always that we do not act as a censor, and we cannot and should not decide what the public may or may not read, and we will only remove a title from sale on the advice of the publisher. That remains the case for Mr Jones' book, and it remains available from Waterstone's. Any questions or comments regarding the content of the book should be directed towards the Welsh Books Council.
The poetry reading was organised and planned in good faith between our store and the publisher. However, it would appear that shortly before the event took place, the author deliberately took provocative action to create a furore around the publication of his book. These actions were taken without prior discussion with the store or their consent and altered the nature of the pre-agreed event. For this reason and because of the risk of disruption to the store, our staff and customers we felt it appropriate to cancel the event.
I'd be very interested to know what form this provocative action took - Stephen Green says he received an email from Jones with some of the more salacious poems in it. If anyone has a copy of that email - or you are reading this Mr Jones- it would be great it you could post it into the comments so we can judge for ourselves if Waterstone's action was reasonable. I think we need to hear Patrick Jones or his publishers side before we can make a rational judgement.
Waht do ya'll think? Feel free to post comments.