This update for December 2017 and January 2018 is brief. I was delighted to find out on 1 December 2017 that my manuscript, Carte Blanche, had been awarded the 2017-18 Noel Rowe Poetry Award, which means it’ll be published by Vagabond Press in 2019. The award’s shortlist and judges’ comments can be read on Vagabond’s website. Over the next few months, I’ll be refining and finalising the manuscript. Then, early next year, I’m looking forward to sending the poems – which distill about 15 years’ work – out into the world, at last. (“Go, little naked and impudent songs, / Go with a light foot!” as Ezra Pound wrote – or, better yet, “Go, my songs [… ] Bring confidence upon the algæ and the tentacles of the soul.”)
The award and forthcoming publication give me the opportunity to ‘settle accounts’ with my work to date and strike out in new directions, which I’ve looked forward to for a long time. It was a wonderful finish to 2017, a year that – till then – had seemed a little lean in terms of its progress or successes, and it’s ushered in the new year with a sense of purpose, and clear(er) horizons.