It's the first day of December in the year 2020. Today I think we should all celebrate us all being oh so close to finishing this year - WHAT A YEAR!
I'd also love it if you could join me in celebrating the publication of my latest book, and my first book of poetry: Lover Mother Other. Yay!
Lover Mother Other Poetry Collection - Out Now!
Lover Mother Other: Poems About Love, Motherhood & Everything Else Womxn Transcend is now live and available to buy as an ebook or paperback.
Why Lover Mother Other is Being Published Now
If I had known a year ago that 2020 would have played out as it has, I would have put money on me NOT publishing this book. But that's the thing about life; it will surprise you, and it will keep surprising you. This book should have been published three years ago, in the autumn or winter months that followed the spring and summer I wrote 100 poems in 100 days.
There is a long story about why I didn't publish this book then or in 2018 or in 2019 (mostly because I had a baby and then didn't get anywhere near enough sleep to function) but the short version is, that wasn't the right time, and this year, again very surprisingly, was the right year for this book, and I am glad I have honoured and respected this process.
What's Lover Mother Other About?
Lover Mother Other is a collection of poetry all about love, motherhood and well, everything else that womxn experience, endure, and enjoy. The word that came to mind to summarise all the verbs womxn often embody was "transcend". We are humans who suffer and yet, we are humans who survive and do so much for other humans.
This in itself has been brought under the microscope yet again as normal life was upended during the pandemic that transformed the way we live. And when pieces needed picking up at work, with children, at home, with communities, who were the ones doing that picking up despite already being so very stretched; womxn.
There are many issues wrapped up in this - important issues that I'm sure I will revisit in my poems or writing - and you will no doubt explore these in your own ways, but it felt the right time for this collection of poetry to exist for me and I hope for you too.
With three distinct parts - Lover, Mother and Other - the book also tells a nearly chronological story of a womxn's life. I say nearly because in many ways the aim of the book and the poems themselves is to challenge that womxn must follow any one set path with pre-ordained steps in a certain order.
But because it was the order my life (thus far) has followed the book starts with Lover and shares poems inspired by love, lust, loss and the questions, feelings and thoughts that linger around all the above. Mother is very much a difficult deep dive into the many conflicting emotions motherhood brings to a womxn's life; good, bad and often very ugly. And Other is a reminder to all that womxn are not just lovers or mothers. They have many other identities and play many other roles in society, art and work.
Why This Book is so Important to Me
This book is VERY important to me for many reasons. First, it's my debut collection of poetry, and considering that ten years ago I would have said I didn't like poetry, as a reader, let alone a writer, it feels quite symbolic and special that I am now publishing a collection of poems.
I write about this in great depth in the book's Introduction, but in short, writing many of these poems, and putting them all together in a book was a process that can only be described as "a journey". I began writing poetry in my eldest son's first year of life, and by the time I set myself the challenge of writing 100 poems in 100 days and he turned two, I was starting to excavate many of the hardest experiences and feelings I'd ever encountered.
Once the first draft of this book was ready, I found out I was pregnant with his younger brother and I was both incredibly happy, but incredibly concerned that I was about to head back into a very hard and honestly, quite dark space. You can read more about my personal experience with post-natal depression and anxiety here, and about the fears I had about my second baby's arrival, but I am happy to say that while growing our family was a testing time, it was not the upending experience becoming a mother had been. But it's also true that with the busy-ness of having two children (and moving house, getting back to work and other life stresses) meant it was all too easy to put this book on the back burner, so I did.
And so here we are in the oddest, hardest of years, and I have somehow published this book. What happens next with it, honestly, is up to you. Please do buy it, read it, gift it to a friend, sister or loved one, and I also encourage you and them to share their copies with others too.
And if you have already read it or you already feel like you enjoy my poetry, please do leave a review or rating on Amazon or Goodreads. These help me SO much. This book helped heal me, and it's my hope that it will also help heal many others.