This does exactly what it says on the tin: collects up every single poem I wrote in 2011 and puts it online as an EPUB available from Lulu.com (and also I believe the iBook store and Barnes & Noble or something). Some of them are exceptionally silly (I mean, some of them are about the X-men, I wasn’t po-facedly composing pastoral literature here), some of them are very personal, some of them are good, some of them are … less wonderful.
Stand-out poems that I recall include the title poem year of the ghost, reflecting on quite how many people had died already when I wrote it in early 2011; it is a sestina, and it was unfortunately more prophetic than I realised. Another was thule, related to the horrific shootings in Utoya, and Pyrexia as revolutionary fever seemed to grip large segments of the world. I’m not usually given to writing political poetry as I’m always worried about coming off sounding like Rik from the Young Ones (BBC), but it’s hard not to want to process real-life events through art; the year closed with Stop, You’re Killing Me, which linked together all of the protests of the year under one banner.
I’ve also written more about science in the last year than is usual, and after watching Wonders with the delightful Brian Cox embarked on an ambitious attempt to mimic structurally the lifecycle of a universe in poetic form, imaginatively titled Life Cycle; I spent a while learning about sound technology and the related physics, which came through in poems like FM and wave.table; I learnt about Victorian London in more depth and produced This Pestilent City.
London, along with fairytale and mythological imagery, and viscera, is a constant source of inspiration and a good number of poems have been devoted to it this year as in previous years.
The cover is a departure from the usual Gothic masterpieces or piles of papers that make up my poetry book covers, but I think there’s something quite bold about the minimalism of it. What do you think?