A Book

Some months ago I received a letter from John Lucas, poet and publisher of Shoestring press. John wrote to tell me he had very much enjoyed my pamphlet ‘Gopagilla’ and to ask if the ‘cupboard was bare’ or if I had other poems. I sent John a selection and a few weeks ago he wrote again to say he’d like to publish a book of my poetry with next autumn as a provisional launch date. Shoestring are an excellent publisher and this news has not quite sunk in yet.  Today I set aside some time to think about what poems the book might contain. For the pamphlet I think I had a good idea of what would go in, but now I felt a bit like Tigger in Winnie the Poo; Tiggers love making books but where to start?
I stared into space for a while, then wrote to my friend Maria to ask for advice on how to proceed. She suggested I separate poems into ‘definitely’ and ‘maybe’ piles. I’ve started to do this, and think I must have done something similar for the pamphlet. The difference is that was 25 pages of poems and this will be a book so I’m going to have to write some more poems I think!  I ‘m so glad I had the Crystal Clear pamphlet as a stepping stone; the experience of that will help me through the inevitable moments of doubt and uncertainty that I imagine all poets assembling a first collection go through. I’ll write about how I’m getting on from time to time.



  1. Sorry to be so slow on this one. I’ve just seen the post on Polyolbion and really will have to get hold of Gopagilla and the Shoestring Press book when it’s published. Exciting news!


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