SIARAD: Second Print Run

Oh yeah, a second print run!

It’s been almost six months since the release of my first book of poetry and prose, SIARAD, and it’s an understatement to say that since then there has been a lot of uncertainty and sorrow in the world. For many authors, the resultant cancellation of book launches, tours and presentations has been a big disappointment. But disappointment is not the end of the story. Human creativity and invention has come to the fore, yet again, in troubled times.

As a performance poet, my world has been opened up by online events in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Queensland. I know of many other poets who have participated in international poetry events too. Last night I competed in a Slam Final hosted by The Bunker Spoken Word that took place in Queensland. As well as live performers, there was a bunch of us performing via Zoom in W.A., N.S.W., Victoria, S.A. And in the Zoom room with us for the whole event was Holly McNish, drinking tea and eating toast on a Saturday morning in Scotland.

So, yes, while the world has shut down and the well of disappointment and fear has grown exponentially, it seems to me there has also been an opening up, to opportunities that would not otherwise have been available, to connect with others, to stop, to go inside ourselves and to reflect.

Six months on from the book launch, I find myself reflecting on what it means to publish a book. One voice says: At 52, aren’t you a bit old to be releasing your first poetry/prose book? That voice also compares myself to others like Holly McNish, who at 37 has published 5 books of poetry and won the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry (you really should check her out!) When I was younger that was my dominant voice. That voice is still there but it's not as loud and it's not the voice that steers me.

A bit of history: I have a background in theatre but I was 48 before I performed my own poetry in a Poetry Slam. That’s how long it took me to find my voice. It’s no coincidence that SIARAD is a Welsh word meaning ‘to talk, to speak.’ It’s no coincidence either that Welsh is my mother’s tongue and that a few months after publishing SIARAD I am doing a year-long online course in learning how to speak Welsh. Relearning the language I spoke as a child is empowering, exciting and fun.

In publishing SIARAD I was worried about how my writing would be received. I let go of that. Then I worried about whether or not it would be reviewed. I let go of that. Then I worried about not selling copies. I let go of that too. The print run was very small but it has sold out. So my publisher and I have decided to take the gamble and do another print run. So if you missed out in round one, you can have at crack at round two!

By the way, you don’t have to 'get' poetry to get into this book. Tracey Korsten reviewing at Glam Adelaide says: “If you hated poetry at school and haven’t read it since, this might just be the book to reignite your interest.”

You can order a copy through the distributor, New South Books. But if you can afford a couple of extra dollars, please order through the publisher ES-Press (an imprint of Spineless Wonders). You may know that ordering through the publisher means the author (me!) receives a greater return per book. Yeah, true.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe!