SIARAD, poetry and prose

book cover design and illustration by Bettina Kaiser

I've been consumed by a new project these past few months. It's long been a goal of mine to gather together some of the shorter works I've written over the past decade or so and put them in a collection; and finally, it's happened.

The name of the collection is SIARAD, a Welsh word meaning to talk, to speak. It was the first word I chose. Then I went off on a tangent of worry about how non-Welsh speakers might pronounce the word and if it might put them off reading the thing. So I set myself a deadline and trod a long journey to find a different word. Turned out to be a circular loop that took me back to the start: SIARAD. None of the English words I found were as satisfying in sound or look; nor did they have the weight of Welsh culture behind them and that was important to me (my Mum is Welsh and the book is dedicated to her). The 's' is pronounced 'sh', the same as Sinead or Seana. I really love the look of the word. What do you think?

I've been working with a wonderful team at ES-PRESS publishing (which is an imprint of Spineless Wonders): publisher Bronwyn Mehan, editor Matilda Gould, and designer/illustrator Bettina Kaiser. I couldn't have asked for a more supportive, generous team. One of the luxuries of working with small publishers is that you get a lot of input into the project. I was consulted on every aspect of the book from choosing font to illustrations and layout of poetry. These last few days have been full of decisions about the placement of commas,  fullstops, capitals, line spaces and tabs. It's so geeky, I love it. 

We are days away from SIARAD going to print and I wanted to write this blog so I could remember the feeling. How full I am, how proud I am of what we've done as a team, how excited I am, how content. Writing is solitary but putting this collection together has been a real treat. We've made a work of art together while being in four different states across Australia. It's incredible how technology enables these collaborations. Now I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and savour this feeling of contentment just a little longer.

ps Details of the Adelaide launch coming soon!

C x


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