'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' - Jo Shapcott
[review of Greyhound Night Service]

Stay Bones Virtual Launch


After much hesitation my fellow Pindrop poet Alex Josephy and I decided to launch our new collections via a virtual Zoom reading event. Like many authors, the publication of my book took place just as the world went into global pandemic lock down. My new poetry book, Stay Bones *was* 'hot off the press' back at the end of February, just in time for the Poetry Book Fair in London. But by the time I had a chance to open my box of author copies and to sit in awe of the beautifully-printed manuscript, ZING, we were on red alert for any sign of coughs as I rushed to transition my students for on-line learning, and all of my thoughts became engaged with the state of my own health and that of my family in the UK and abroad.

Once I realised that we poets weren't going to be launching anything in face-to-face venues any time soon, I contacted my wonderful publisher Sharon Black at Pindrop Press and asked her whether any other poets might be in the same position with an as-yet-unlaunched book. To my delight, she mentioned Alex Josephy, and after several practice run-throughs Alex and I decided to give the virtual launch a go!

Having been to several brilliant in-person readings and launches in the early months of 2020, I was really sure that a virtual version might be okay for the audience, but I was less certain of how it would feel to launch my book into the world via only a web-cam. 

I'm relieved and pleased to say that the event itself went really well. When I first logged into our Zoom room that Sunday, I was not prepared for the gathering of so many faces of people that I love: friends,  family, colleagues, and students came from all over the world to hear us, and there they were, suddenly, in living-frames on my screen. It was so moving to me that family who had never been able to attend one of my readings could be in the same room with me (so to speak) to listen and to engage with the words of the poems that I'd spent the best part of fifteen years writing. 

During the first half of the launch, I was able to sip my favourite coffee blend while sitting back and listening as Alex read a selection of poems from her new book: Naked Since Faversham. It was a bit like having a private poetry reading in my own living room, without the hassle of catching trains or trying to find parking at a venue.

By the time it was my turn to read, I felt as nervous and excited as if I were in a room with the 90 audience members who came out to support our new books. Luckily we recorded our launch readings so I can share mine with you here at this link.


To pick up your own copy of Stay Bones, visit Pindrop Press