Nine Years OnFriday 13th may be unlucky for some, but for me, it's an immensely important occasion and one I refuse to be superstitious about. Today, my second collection of poetry Boudicca & Co has gone live on the Salt Publishing website, which means it's now in print and available to buy!
It's nine years since my first poetry collection was published by Bloodaxe, amidst a flurry of exciting publicity. It seems an incredibly long time ago, yet some of the poems I wrote immediately following the New Blood tour in October 1997 - just after Brief History of a Disreputable Woman was published - are in this new book, and they still feel and sound as fresh to me as they did the day I wrote them.
So why did I wait so long before publishing my second collection? Well, it certainly wasn't because I'm a slow writer! I must have written nigh on three hundred poems, at least, in the interim between that first book and Boudicca, but I was advised that the vast majority of my poems were not up to scratch and so I dumped many of them soon after they were written. Possibly the wrong move, but I guess we'll never know.
Some of the rest I also eventually binned out of sheer lack of interest, others I stupidly lost in a wearying series of house moves, still others were eaten by dead computer drives. An entire verse play called Umbra disappeared. I stopped writing in the end and only began again, very tentatively, towards the end of 2004. The individual poems that remain from that dark time, the ones I kept copies of and refused to stop believing in, are true survivors and I'm very happy to see them in print at last.
I shall not be waiting - let's hope so, anyway! - another nine fairy-talesque years before producing my next collection. New poems are already simmering in the 'possible' pile. But in the meantime, I have a new and extremely handsome book of poetry to sell and I sincerely hope you will all consider buying a copy of Boudicca & Co ... before the first print run sells out!
Here's the link to BOUDICCA & CO.