I’m releasing another poetry collection!
I know, I failed to warn you about this one. It’s probably going to be out on Tuesday, too, so you don’t have a lot of time to run away. But don’t worry, I won’t be talking about it much. Kinda more focused on passing my exams. Releasing poetry collections is like a background, “Well, maybe if I do this I won’t starve to death in my first term of uni,” when we all know I’ll never earn enough to buy food.
It’s called Fleeting Ink and it’s infinitely less creepy than the first one.
Which is kind of a selling point, and at the same time, the main USP of the first one was that it was creepy and therefore fairly unusual. This one isn’t. But that means if you were put off Crossroads Poetry because you weren’t interested in fairies and death and demon deals (due to personal sensibilities or religious beliefs or whatever), then you don’t need to fear: that’s not a feature of this collection.
There are a couple of poems that could be called love poems, I guess. But only a couple.
On the whole, it’s a collection of poems about writing. It’s a time-honoured tradition among poets – they’re always doing it. Novelists do it, too. I think writers just love writing about writing. One of my all-time favourite descriptions in any book ever is from A Place Of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel, where she describes Camille Desmoulins writing:
“When it was time to write, and he took his pen in his hand, he never thought of consequences; he thought of style. I wonder why I ever bothered with sex, he thought; there’s nothing in this breathing world so gratifying as an artfully placed semicolon. Once paper and ink were to hand, it was useless to appeal to his better nature, to tell him he was wrecking reputations and ruining people’s lives. A kind of sweet venom flowed through his veins, smoother than the finest cognac, quicker to make the head spin. And, just as some people crave opium, he craves the opportunity to exercise his fine art of mockery, vituperation and abuse; laudanum might quieten the senses, but a good editorial puts a catch in the throat and a skip in the heartbeat. Writing’s like running downhill; can’t stop if you want to.”
I just love that passage. It sums up a lot how I feel about writing – how it’s more of a compulsion than anything else, and primarily I write because I’m incapable of not doing so. Even being unable to type or hold a pen couldn’t stop me writing, so why would anything else? I’m not quite as vicious, or as revolutionary, as Desmoulins, but nevertheless I feel like we understand each other deeply. Not least the part about semicolons.
Oh, Camille. You know, my composition for A2 Music is called Sonatina Desmoulins and is partially inspired by him? True story, bro. And I named a minor character in The Quiet Ones after him, because why not.
I’m getting sidetracked talking about historical figures again. This always happens to me. One time I stayed up until midnight having a conversation about Boudicca with a friend on the internet — and then the clocks went forward, so technically it was 1am, and I don’t feel like I can justify that aspect of my intense nerdiness, because it’s kind of beyond the level of acceptable enthusiasm about historical personages.
Again, tangent. I’m meant to be talking about poetry.
So, this collection is far more conventional, in a way, than the first one. Which I hope is a good thing rather than a bad thing. Some of the poems are more recent than the last collection — one of them I wrote over the last two days — but many of them were written earlier, and I wanted to include them in the first one but they didn’t fit.
The cover was a lot more difficult. In the end, I figured it out, and it looks like this:
The text in the background is from my grandmother’s copy of Sweet’s Anglo-Saxon Reader. As with my first collection, there’s a brief explanation at the end of the book as to why I chose the image and how I think it relates to the poems, so I won’t bother going into that now. I had a lot of difficulty choosing something that worked without looking corny or unprofessional, so I hope you like the result.
It’ll cost two pounds, like the first one, except that to celebrate the release of this one, I’m reducing Crossroads Poetry to a slightly lower price! I’ll be setting it at 1.49 GBP, but VAT means there’ll be a few extra pennies on there, so I don’t know the exact number until I do it. Nevertheless, that’ll be discounted. Not sure if that’s a permanent choice, or whether I’ll put it back up after a month or so, so if you want to take advantage of the discount I suggest doing it promptly, ha ha. :)
I don’t plan to guilt-trip you into buying this one. It’s not my birthday, and I might be in debt, but I think the harp thing’s sorted. Kind of. I haven’t got it yet, but that’s a technicality. No, this time I’m just another poet on the internet trying to scrape a few pennies any way she can. So if you’re interested, take a look. If not, no worries.
That’s all for now — I better get back to doing some work. I need to finish this sonatina, after all… Camille’s looking a bit underfed and scrawny at the moment, I’ve three harmonic lines still to write for the middle section. Yeah, I took to referring to the sonatina by its first name. Is that a weird thing to do?
You can add the book on Goodreads if you have an account, and like I said, it ought to be out by Tuesday if everything goes according to plan!
My thanks to everyone who has bought, read and/or reviewed Crossroads Poetry. You’re all awesome.