Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Book Thing

Saturday night bravery, because if I don't say it publicly it's too easy to back out:

I am bringing out a collection of poetry in 2018. It is not titled yet but it is a themed collection of poems about women from key iconic stories - from the Torah, from mythology, and from fairy-tales.
The poems are in a range of styles, from my favourite form (villanelle) to sestinas, pantoums, rondeaus, haiku, madrigals, stream of consciousness, and free verse.

Each poem is accompanied by a prose version of the story of the woman who it is inspired by. Some of the poems are fairly straight retellings of the story; some are reinterpreted or twisted in a range of ways. Sometimes the story is just the jumping-off point for the poem.

I'm self-publishing it and it will be available via a few online book-buying channels and (hopefully) to bricks-and-mortar retailers as well. It'll be a paperback and probably also an e-book. I have a lovely editor and a talented designer lined up to hopefully make it the best book it can be.

I am aiming for a June 2018 launch date and when we get closer to that time, I will put an invitation here for anyone who wants to come along to the party thing, which will include fuds that I make and perhaps a cake if I can talk someone into making one (I'll look forward to seeing all three of you, and my Mum, there! :-P)

This is all quite scary. My imposter syndrome is screaming in my ear constantly, telling me it's all garbage, but stuff it, I'm in my mid-40s - if I don't do this now, it's odds-on I never will. So I thought I would share this plan, to keep me honest and keep me going.

Here is one of the poems that will appear in the book, in case you are interested. This was previously published here and is inspired by the story of Scheherazade - the desperate bride who was the teller of the 1,001 Arabian Nights tales.

A Thousand Nights

Listen, king, and I will tell you a tale.

It starts in a city of saints high in the desert
where the morning light has such a clarity
and the pink hills all around glow with life

and then there is a boat that goes under the sea
nosing up to the shallows like a curious porpoise
inviting you to come beneath, and yet

the sky gallops like a wild mare, ribbons of white foam
chasing each other towards heaven

there is a woman in it, with eyes like muddy stars
a gaggle of geese in a field, and a treasure -
only time will tell what kind

I saw it when I slept, and the song the colours sang
tore my heart into pieces at my feet

Listen, king, and I will weave you a new palace
the filigree of dreams is finer than any lace

honey-golden with promise and the longing,
that aching longing,
that comes when you look to the west
or at the vast night sky, and the soul cries out -

Once upon a time in a land far, far away...

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