"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
It’s been a bloody long time coming and it’s not here yet – but my second collection will be published in spring 2015 by Nine Arches Press.
Because editor Jane Commane is a Force For Good. She believes in my poetry, and for that I’m grateful – but more than that, she believes in poetry, full stop. She supports the whole ecology of the craft – from the open-access open mic at Shindig in Leicester, through the ever-evolving and beautiful journal Under the Radar, through a Debut series for first collections, to the series of titles that includes poets whom I respect very much – Matt Merritt, Angela France, Richie McCaffrey and many others. I’m delighted to be launching at the same time as stablemate Robert Peake, and looking forward to some shared readings. Nine Arches are feisty, independent, and they work hard for every poet on their list. I am proud to be a part of their project.
When we speak of kith and kin, we know what kin means. Your kin are the people you’re related to by blood – your family. Your kith, on the other hand, are the people you are related to by choice; your friends, your peers, your chosen clan.
The word comes from the same root as ‘couth/ uncouth’. Literally it means the known, or those who know you. For me it encompasses the boating community I am part of, the poetry clan in which I work and move – and the shifting group of friends who make up an elective family for me. One of that number is the artist Heather Duncan, whose friendship I have cultivated for years purely so that she would let me use her artwork for the cover.
Well, you know what the poems are. Some of them can be seen here or on the Canal Laureate site here. They are a little like the poems of Navigation, but by a poet seven years older and very little wiser. There is sex, of course. There are boats, of course. There is something of the landscape of my north – and a good deal about the human landscape, the relationships by which we all navigate the world. Some of it sharp, some of it wry, some of it deep.
I will frankly be working the festivals like a literary harlot next spring and summer, so if you want to book me, let me know. There are a few months to go before you can buy Kith – read about it here, for now. In the meantime we are down to the last dozens of Navigation, with no plans to reprint for a long while, so buy it from another of my kith, Ailsa Holland at Moormaid now if you want one!