Thursday, August 19, 2010

Playing Solitaire for Money

I've spent quite a bit of the last few months preparing my first chapbook for Salt Publishing. The book, "Playing Solitaire for Money", is the 2nd in their new series of chapbooks, Salt Modern Voices, and as you can see from the picture, it's a handsome little thing. The book has 24 poems, and when I was first asked to submit a collection for this series, I had to give a lot of thought to what poems I'd choose, and how far back I'd go, for what is, to all intents and purposes a first proper collection.

So I've lived with the choices through the last two or three months of proofing, and I'm happy with the poems, and, as importantly, how they hang together. For a chapbook, I think its quite a substantial collection, and one I'll be more than happy to "take on the road" at readings over the next six months or so.

I really hope than anyone who has enjoyed this blog over the years, will take a look at the collection (more details on my writing website here).  "Little books" such as the Salt Modern Voices collections, have their own pleasures - one step up from the homemade - they seem to more accurately document the time and place of their publication than larger publications, that made have been the culmination of many years work.

I enjoyed putting the collection together and think it gives a good overview of my poetic practice, and includes many of my best poems. I've always thought that titles are important, and without an overarching concept, I always wanted to take a line from one of the poems. "Playing Solitaire for Money" is a line from one of the signature poems in the book, "My Monster", and seemed the correct title for a collection of poems that often plays with contradiction.

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