How I Learned to Sing [Sound the self-promotion klaxon]

I have a book coming out later this year, June to be exact. It’s 200 pages long and doesn’t have the word resilience in it once, which will be a relief to some people. (See here for latest example of that word’s contribution to self-harm in the cultural sector.) On the other hand, it is a book of poems…

There is an irony that this is my first collection for many years, the reasons for which can largely be attributed to working at Arts Council England for 10 years and avoiding conflicts of interest with previous and potential publishers, and this book, from my good friend Andy Croft’s Smokestack Books, is NOT funded by ACE as his last G4A application was unsuccessful. If only Andy had lost his funding years ago, this book might have been shorter.

But anyway, he is cracking on with Smokestack, and I’m proud to be joining a list that includes a lot of genuinely great poets from all over the world, Bulgaria to Chile via Siberia, the socialist USA, Middlesbrough and Barnsley. (Me on the same list as Victor Jara, that’ll do me.)

The book How I Learned to Sing is a bit of whopper at 200 pages, with several new sequences and then the best of my previous collections. It’s been an interesting process putting it together, and I’ve set up a separate blog to note a few things about that, and to promote it which you can see here. It will also spare Thinking Practice followers who aren’t bothered about my sidelines from me going on too much here. (You can subscribe to it, if you like.)

I’ve started by thinking out loud about the Advanced Information sheet and how it depicts me and the book. Anyone who wants to invite me to do a reading after June would be very welcome to do so.