05 January 2014

Welcome to 2014! And a sort of announcement of something you probably know already

I have high hopes for 2014. Last year was a bit crap, for various reasons, but this year is going to be awesome. I am determined. And there are some very cool things coming up, which I'm sure will make for a good year.

It has started off very well so far. We spent New Year's Eve in Paekakariki with a dear friend who lives overseas these days. We had been planning to go to a party, which would have been lots of fun, but instead we decided to stay in and spent the evening reflecting on our plans, goals and hopes for the year, which felt right. The next day I got to hang out with some poet friends who were about - mainly because they live there - and we even had a writing session, which felt like a very auspicious start to the year. I'd never written with other people quite like this before: the four of us sitting around a kitchen table and, with the help of prompts, writing solidly in our notebooks for blocks of time from five minutes to half an hour. It didn't matter what we wrote, but our pens just had to keep moving. I think one of the main advantages is that you can't just go and check that one thing on the internet, and then inevitably fall down a rabbit hole; but I also loved being in the same space creating with those dear poetic minds. We did the same thing a couple of days later, and I hope for more of the same.

Writing is going to be my focus for at least the first half of this year. My own writing. I've decided to not begin a new publishing project until at least the middle of the year. The particular reason for this is the most exciting news, which I think I've probably told most of you already, but which I haven't formally announced or anything, so this is my formal announcement:

My new poetry book, Cinema, is going to be published by Mākaro Press! (It's scheduled for March at this stage.) Mākaro Press is a new published company started by the multi-talented Mary McCallum, which has just published the fabulously successful Eastbourne: an anthology. Cinema is going to be published as part of a batch of poetry books, a triptych perhaps. It's in fine company: the other two are a debut book, Bird Murder (a murder mystery in poetry), by Stefanie Lash, and a collection of love poems by Michael Harlow. So, a new poet, an eminent poet, and me.

The poems in Cinema all take film, films or/and film-making as a jumping off point, but they fly in all kinds of directions and explore other themes and ideas. I've been working on Cinema for a long time now, writing the poems, and then working on the poems, and shaping the book and reshaping the book, and then reshaping the book again. At several points in the process I've had some trusted people read the poems, and then the manuscript, and give me lots of helpful and encouraging feedback. It's a better, and shorter, book for all that.

Another thing I want to do this year is blog a bit more again. I haven't much in the last few years, and it hasn't been where my head or time was at, which is fine. But I think that sort of reflection and kinda public-ish writing is something I want to do again, for a while anyway.

What are your plans for your year?


Harvey Molloy said...

My plan is to spend more time writing. That's it!

Paula Green said...

Wonderful! Doing your own writing is a good choice!

I am looking forward to your new book. Congratulations!

And cheers Mary.

Sorry to hear last year was not so good, best wishes for 2014! xxxxx Paula

Helen Rickerby said...

Good plan Harvey! And thanks Paula. Despite some crappy things last year, there were a lot of good things too. I shouldn't forget that!