At 7.46 this morning there was a knock at the door. It was -2 degrees out and a very hard frost. I was still in my PJs (it’s still Christmas in my house). Should I just ignore it? Luckily I persuaded myself out of bed and opened the door to the postman. He handed me a large box. A late gift from Santa? No, even better! Copies of THE BITTERS ahead of the launch events in the new year.
It’s been a while since I wrote that news about THE BITTERS was on its way. I needed to hold the chapbook physically before I felt able to write about its arrival – but the wait is finally over and I am holding it in my hand, thanks to the inspirational Kristy Bowen at Dancing Girl Press. http://www.dancinggirlpress.com
So what does it feel like to be holding my first poetry pamphlet? The first thing I did was to read it cover to cover rather anxiously – not unlike the anxiety of that first look in the mirror after a drastic haircut. What is this new aspect of me that will be going out into the world? Part of me but also now separate from me? Relief, then pleasure. Yes. This is what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I am acutely aware of the many places in which experiments have not quite worked or the execution of a poem has fallen considerably short of its aspirations, but overall I am pleased that the individual poems are nothing if not bolshie and that the whole – spiky and quarrelsome as it is – says something – is something – that I recognise. I am ready to send it out into the world to fend for itself.
Some news about launch events:
London Launch at The Wheatsheaf (Rathbone Place, W1)
HILDA SHEEHAN AND SUSIE CAMPBELL IN THE HEART OF FITZROVIA LAUNCHING NEW CHAPBOOKS
January 23rd 2015. 7pm start (readings from 8pm)
HOSTED BY JILL ABRAM.
I am absolutely delighted to be sharing the London launch of THE BITTERS with Hilda Sheehan and host Jill Abram (another wonderful poet). If you know anything about the Swindon poetry scene – or indeed any poetry scene! – you will already know Hilda. Now it is time to get to know Frances and Martine, or rather Frances and Martine, Hilda’s chapbook also recently published by Dancing Girl Press.
Hilda Sheehan’s Frances and Martine is a series of prose poems about two women who go off into space, murder with corn remover and die at the hands of butter. The book features drawings by Jill Carter. At the launch event, there will also be a sneak preview of Hilda’s exciting ‘Frances and Martine’ collaboration with musician and writer Barry Andrews formerly of XTC and now Shriekback: http://shriekback.com/
Oxford Launch at Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford
SUSIE CAMPBELL AND FRIENDS INVITE YOU TO OXFORD FOR A TASTE OF THE BITTERS
February 26th 2015. Evening.
I am thrilled to be launching THE BITTERS at one of my favourite bookshops, the beautiful Blackwell’s in Oxford.
This is a particularly significant venue for me as it is where an early version of key sequence of poems in THE BITTERS ( the Casebook sequence) was first performed. Oxford is also the place where I recently completed my MSt in Creative Writing and so this venue is a little like coming home for me.
Surrey Launch -venue and date to be confirmed.
It would be lovely to see any of you at one of these launches but THE BITTERS is also available here:
Christmas has been a fertile time creatively with many things to celebrate: a Creative Writing Masters degree achieved, a first draft of the novel completed, a new arrival in the family (an adopted elderly, whiskery gentleman who goes by the name of The Talented Mr Ripley because of his ability to insinuate himself into any armchair), and many wonderful friends enjoying publication and prize-winning success. But best of all, it has been a time for reading and reflecting, and getting ready for the year to come.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!