I have been trying to find clear time to read through the first rough set of proofs of the new collection. It’s an odd sensation, which I forget between books but which I now recall feeling pretty intensely when Blue Lamp Disco was published: I’m struck at once by how inadequately the poems meet the imaginative need that must surely have provoked them, and yet at the same time delighted that this new artifact, the book, is more than the sum of its inadequate parts.
Partly it’s playing around with the order of the poems. There are themes that I knew I’d tried to address: I think I can now see that they are shot through many more of the poems than I’d been aware of. And in more cases than I’d understood, individual poems are shot through with two or three of the book’s key concerns, and actually seem to examine the interplay of those concerns.
So at least at first sight I’m pleased with the book as it begins to take shape, even though there are poems here which may not make the cut. Next steps: play with the order of poems; think about cover images; and record the CD that Lagan Press now issue with each of their books.