It’s been a year since my debut poetry pamphlet, the other body, was published by Guillemot Press, and I’m celebrating its birthday! We launched it on 14 October 2021 (video here). Here I am a little over a year ago, on the day I unwrapped my parcel of author copies and saw my book for the first time.
It still feels surreal to have a physical book with my writing printed in it, especially one with such a beautiful design and illustrations by Phyllida Bluemel.
the other body was about five years in the writing. Not every poem in there was five years old when I submitted it to Luke and Sarah at Guillemot in late 2019, but it took that long for the ideas to coalesce, the poems to be written, the line by line editing, and then putting it into pamphlet shape.
I learned a lot from the process and it still fascinates me that the secret ingredient for any creative project is time. It can be a fine balance between acting quickly to keep momentum, and taking enough time for the project to emerge. Then, at the end, there’s the breathless, heart-swelling moment when you know it’s ready, and it’s time to stop working on that particular project. Time moves strangely in the writing.
Following the other body I’ve been hard at work on other projects. I have another pamphlet that is completed, and I’m working on my third. The latest pamphlet is born out of my interest in textiles and the teachers who taught me to knit, to spin, and weave when I was a teenager who thought they might have a career in design in future. And in the background I am planning my largest project to date, my debut poetry collection CYMA. I have scoped out the project over the last couple of years and I’m hoping that 2023 will be the year I can begin in earnest.
No matter the new projects, I still find myself sometimes taking my copy of the other body down from the shelf, reading it, or even just holding it. Wherever my writing life takes me, tob (as I call it for short) will always be my first published book. I’m amazed and delighted that it’s here, it’s beautiful and it’s real.
If you’d like to buy a copy of the book you can do so via Guillemot Press. To stay up to date with my writing, why not subscribe below or add my site to your old-skool RSS feed.