Year end blog

This is just a really quick, short blog to say thank you, wholeheartedly, for all your support and kindness this year. Thank you for sticking with me!

This year has been action-packed (and not always for poetic reasons) so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect and share just a few of the highlights from this year:

For me, the overall highlight of the year must be launching my debut collection, The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat, with Bare Fiction in July this year. It’s a landmark I’d been daring to dream of for a little while before I was approached, but didn’t think would happen quite so soon. I’m very grateful for the creative guidance and beautiful production of the book itself from Robert Harper at Bare Fiction. Thank you to everyone who has bought it, shared it, read it, talked about it and made it happen through the original crowdfunder. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction to it and the generosity of you all.

One of the wonderful things that has happened through launching the book (and other things) has been the opportunity to go and read at venues and places I have never been to before. I’ve put faces to names, made new connections, gained new friends. I’ve heard and read some incredible, beautiful work that I might not have otherwise. I’ve learned a lot. And that’s always a good thing.

As a writer, it’s easy to forget that something you make at your desk in your one-bed flat can reach someone somewhere in the distance, maybe someone you haven’t even met yet. When Nadia King found a poem of mine in Popshot, she liked it enough to look me up (thankfully I’m easy to find) and she asked if she could interview me on her blog. I agreed, though it’s not something I’d ‘normally’ do and couldn’t be happier with the result.

Elbow Room is growing. My final highlight of the year has to be running the Elbow Room competition for the first time, finding incredible work and having our wonderful winner’s event in Battersea. There’s no denying it was extremely hard work, and I can’t quite believe we’re going to do it all again next year, but it was also an absolute joy.

And just finally, while I’m looking back, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the places that have published my work this year including: HARK, Clear Poetry, The Fat Damsel, Nutshells & Nuggets, Belleville Park Pages, Obsessed with Pipework, The Yellow Chair Review, Lampeter Review, Anomaly, Haverthorn Magazine and Ink, Sweat & Tears.

2016 is already promising to keep me very busy indeed. As well as 2 collaborations in the first half of the year with 2 fabulous photographers, I have a book (but not quite as you know it) coming out with As Yet Untitled in late Autumn. Elbow Room is also going from strength to strength and continues to grow and blossom. As Yet Untitled, Elbow Room’s parent press, will be launching 3 books in the first year of our expansion. So there’s plenty to keep me out of mischief (or in it, depending on how you look at it).

With that in mind, I’m taking the next two weeks off for some rest, recuperation and some family time, getting ready for the adventures ahead. So don’t worry if I’m a little quiet for a bit.

That wasn’t quite a quick a blog as I’d thought, but thank you—for listening, for being part of the journey, for sticking with it.

Whatever you have planned for the holidays and the new year, I hope it’s a happy, healthy one.

Best wishes, Zelda x

On writing a book…

Ok, so it’s been a while. Sorry.

The big news is, if you have managed to miss it completely, is that Bare Fiction are publishing my debut full collection of poetry in July this year. That’s just about 2 months away. So I’ve been busy!

The last 12 months have been a whirlwind for me, and not only poetically. I’ve a new day job, I’ve moved house, I’ve said (temporary) goodbyes to old friends and hello to new ones. And somewhere in amongst it, I’ve written a book. I’m not quite sure how it all happened, but I’m very glad it did.

Poetically speaking, last year was a bumper year for me in terms of publication successes. I’ve been writing more than I ever have before and enjoying it in ways I’ve not done before. Things feel rather good. I am, of course, forever indebted to Jo Bell, who has not only offered a great deal of support personally, but also created the 52 project which has led to so many great things—not least of which the production of great amounts of work and an opportunity to be part of a creative, supportive network of poets. It’s been invaluable.

The book itself will contain poems written over the last 3 or 4 years. Collected, they explore a narrative of loss, love and a sort of melancholic hope. It’s about relationships, not only with people but with the world as a whole. It’s about finding a place, then moving on. So you see, there’s lots in there to keep you on your toes!

Some of the poems have been published previously in various magazines (you can see a list here) and some of them will be making their debut into the world. Some of them have been placed in competitions and a couple have even been nominated for the Forward Prize. I can’t wait to share them all with you.

If you want to get your hands on a copy first, get hold of a signed copy or even get a handwritten poem from me, Bare Fiction are taking pre-orders now. Just click HERE for all the details of how.

We’re hoping to do a couple of launches, so keep watching this space for details.

As always, thank you for sticking with me! I can’t wait to share the next step with you. Z x