My debut poetry collection has just been published by Penned in the Margins.
Having poems printed on a page like this is a bit of a new experience for me. I normally can’t bear reading my work in print, because it seems so final, and I’m never happy with it. The first poem I ever had page-published had a typo right at the end, somehow the last letter of the last word of my poem got missed off, these kinds of little mistakes seem bigger on a page than they do in a live performance, with performance when it’s gone it’s gone, and each performance is a chance to begin again.
But, this book, far as I can tell, doesn’t have any typos or mistakes or bits I want to change or new versions I’d prefer…and it does have poems I’ve never read in front of an audience, poems that are written for the page. Poems that I don’t want to be tied to my voice-in-performance.
And the act of seeing pieces that I haven’t really known how to label, what to do with…on a page, somehow validates them. There’s something to be said for finishing things. It’s also great to have a bit of ‘Opposition’ included – it’s a piece I’m not planning on performing again, so I’m happy there’s a trace of it in this form as well as on youtube.
Tom Chivers of Penned in the Margins was great to work with, I loved his approach to crafting the reader’s journey through the book, and we totally agreed on what should and shouldn’t be included. It’s fantastic to be able to work with someone all the way from the margins of live poetry to the margins of a book. So thank you Tom, thank you for supporting my work all these years, and thank you for not accepting a collection before it was ready.
It’s funny how a collection of poems seems a mammoth task in the beginning, and now, looking through the book, it seems so short. I might have to make another one.
There’s a triple/quadruple launch at Toynbee Studios on the 14th Nov, we’ll be joined by Meghan Purvis reading from her translation of Beowolf. Hope to see you there!
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Three of the UK’s most exciting voices launch new collections in a night of cutting-edge poetry from indy publisher Penned in the Margins.
In Siddhartha Bose’s Digital Monsoon, dreams trigger extraordinary visions of an apocalyptic London populated by the ghosts of a multicultural city. His new collection celebrates the dynamism of urban edgelands in his trademark open field, rhythmical style.
Melissa Lee-Houghton reads from her second book, Beautiful Girls: a raw and powerful account of mental illness that has been awarded a PBS Recommendation. (‘Not a book for the feint-hearted’ – Chris McCabe.)
Hannah Silva, widely acclaimed for her innovative vocal performances, launches her debut collection Forms of Protest – her texts deconstruct the defunct languages of political and literary discourse, claiming a new space, a liminal zone between things as they sound… and things as they are.