Two new poems, A Nightmare of Daughters and Furthest West, have been published in the New England Review, Vol. 41, Number 2, as part of a collection of works by contemporary British poets, selected and introduced by Marilyn Hacker.
The other poets, whose work I heartily recommend, are Seni Seneviratne, Carol Rumens, James Byrne, Naomi Foyle, Sean O’Brien, Shazea Quraishi, Fiona Sampson, Nick Makoha, Maitreyabandhu, Caroline Bergvall, Sasha Dugdale, George Szirtes, Mir Mahfuz Ali, and Alison Brackenbury.
I’m pleased to tell you that my translation of Catullus 51 into a Tolkeinesque High Fantasy style was chosen as the weekly poem by the Oxford Brookes University Poetry Centre. The poem was written for the Sidekick Books anthology Bad Kid Catullus, which is full of innovative poems which revision or respond to the work of Catullus, as well as gorgeous visual art.
My new poetry book from Sidekick Books is a collaboration with London-based visual artist Heather McArthur. The poem and illustrations tell the story of a journey through a dark, mysterious city.
The project was initiated by the editors at Sidekick Books, and Heather and I worked together remotely, living on opposite sides of the Atlantic and exchanging words and images over the internet. We developed a joint vision early on through conversations by email and Skype, and then worked simultaneously, each in her own medium, to make that vision real, exchanging our work as we completed it. We never met in person until the book launch in London. I loved working on this project and I feel proud of what we created together.
Below are two glimpses into the book, showing my words and Heather’s vibrant, atmospheric images.
Aquanauts, from Sidekick Books, is a poetry anthology focused on all things aquatic: ‘sharks and skates, subs and spookfish, vile jellies and sorrowful shipwrecks’. It’s especially innovative because it’s also interactive; there are pages for the reader to record their own aquatic observations, ideas and findings. Sidekick Books specialize in themed, multi-poet anthologies which I find exciting both as a reader and as a writer because they have a way of drawing out unexpected and excellent writing from everyone involved and are always visually appealing.
I wrote a poem for this anthology about the wreck of the SS America. It’s a calligram, a form I hadn’t used before. One of the reasons I love writing for Sidekick Books publications is that I always end up surprising myself and enriching my repertoire as a poet. If you write poetry, I recommend looking out for their open calls for submissions, which you can find on their website
Bad Kid Catullus, also from Sidekick Books, is an anthology of new, highly creative versions of Catullus poems by poets including Vahni Capildeo, Eileen Pun, Kirsten Irving, Claire Trévien, Jon Stone and Abigail Parry. I wrote two poems for this anthology, one translating a Catullus poem into 19th century English slang using Captain Grose’s 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue and another recasting a poem as Tolkienesque fantasy fiction. As with Aquanauts, Bad Kid Catullus includes plenty of visual art as well as opportunities for the reader to customize their copy through suggested activities.
Wasafiri, a London-based journal of international writing, invited me to take part in their series of five minute interviews with writers.You can find the interview here.