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

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On joining the Elbow Room team…

Yes, it’s official… I’m now a part of the editorial team for Elbow Room!

When I first came across Elbow Room, I knew it was something I had to be involved in and, back in August, I was delighted to have some of my work printed in the very first volume of the magazine.

Now, just a couple of months later, I have been invited to be a part of this little micro press as part of the editorial team. Since I announced it on Twitter a few days ago, a few people have asked me why I was so eager to get involved, so I thought I would share with you some thoughts on joining the team…

Firstly, I loved the concept of Elbow Room from the very beginning. I have been involved in other projects and magazines (such as Popshot) in which poetry is placed alongside illustration and other art forms, and for me, that’s something that really excites me. No art form stands alone, separate from its counterparts. Creativity breeds creativity and each person has their own way of exploring and expressing their reactions to the world around them, whether that’s with words or film or paint or sound. And I really like the idea of bringing all those different ways of looking at the world, of re-interpreting the world, and putting them alongside each other. It creates a dialogue. And I think that’s a good thing.

Secondly, in the small presses (and micro presses such as this one) there is a lot of risk involved. A lot of good risk. Small presses are exciting because they are places where new work is seen for the first time, experiments are made, risks are taken, boundaries and rules bent and broken. They are places where new voices are given a platform. They are full of innovation. They are full of unseen things, previously hidden things, little gems waiting to be discovered. And most of all, they are passionate about what they do. Everything, in my opinion, that art, in all its forms and guises, should be about.

And lastly, most importantly, it’s bloody good fun!

I’m so glad to be a part of this particular little micro press and cannot wait to get sifting through the submissions!  There’s still time to get your work in the next issue, so if you want to be involved, make sure you check out the Elbow Room blog for details.