Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Forthcoming Anthologies

A while back I was asked which one thing I was most proud of achieving in 2017.  My answer was that I was most proud of my book being picked as a finalist in the Wales Book of the Year award, but afterwards when I thought about it I realised that wasn't my proudest moment at all - though it did come close.

There's a poem in my book that two women now have said inspired them to speak out about things they had been silent about for too long, and that, I think, is what I'm most proud of.  It might seem like a little thing, but it means a great deal to know that a poem of mine had that effect on someone.  I'm doubly proud, then, that the poem in question, Without Narcissus, will be appearing in the #MeToo anthology, published by Fair Acre Press and edited by the wonderful Deborah Alma.

#MeToo will be published on the 8th of March, with all proceeds going to Women's Aid.  You can preorder it from Waterstones already here.  I will be reading at a local launch for the book in Welshpool in May - more details are in the upcoming events page.

The other anthology due to be published soon is one from a press I have worked with many times over the past few years.  Beautiful Dragons Press, founded and run by excellent poet Rebecca Bilkau, is a collaborative press which brings out themed anthologies.  Each poem in every book has been written specially for that volume, and the variety of poems and poets in each book is nothing short of staggering.  I've appeared in their volumes on the constellations (my poem, Daughters of the Dust, was inspired by the constellation vulpecula, the little fox, and was later featured in the Guardian with a write up by Carol Rumens - scroll down if you fancy a read), the periodic table, the oceans of the world, and several more.

This time, we have our revoluntionary hats on, and are engaging with dissenters the world over.  For my poem, I chose artist Frida Kahlo, whose work I've admired for most of my life.  As a bisexual woman, the act loving itself became a revoluntionary act for her, and she loved passionately and fearlessly.  My poem is inspired by a note found in one of her sketchbooks next to a swatch of chartreuse paint: All ghosts wear clothes of this colour.

Noble Dissent will be launched at Lancaster Litfest on the 17th of March this year.  I will be reading my poem along with several other poets from the anthology, and I'm also doing a longer solo reading at an event later in the day.  The event program isn't available quite yet, but the website for the festival is here.

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