A Body Made of You is now available to purchase from Penned in the Margins here: http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/, or alternatively from Inpress here: http://www.inpressbooks.co.uk/a_body_made_of_you_melissa_leehoughton_i022254.aspx. It will also be available to buy from Amazon and Waterstones, but it’s better for me and the publisher if you buy direct. Also, it is faster, secure and reliable.
My book launch will be on Saturday the 23rd April at Nexus Art Cafe on Dale Street, Manchester from 7.30. There will be readings from the lovely Manchester writer Annie Clarkson and the wonderful Liverpool poet Michael Egan, a fellow Penned in the Margins poet. You can buy Annie’s book, Winter Hands, her first collection of prose poems here: http://www.shadowtrain.com/id100.html and Michael’s first poetry collection Steak and Stations from Penned in the Margins here: http://www.pennedinthemargins.co.uk/?p=967
While I’m here I’d like to take the time to thank John Siddique, David Caddy and Chris Hamilton-Emery for writing endorsements for my book. It was kind, generous and greatly appreciated.
I’m waiting patiently for my books. They went to my neighbour this morning while I was out visiting my grandfather, and now my neighbour is not in and I have to wait! It’ll be wonderful to feel the weight of it in my hands. It will be real. It will feel like an achievement when I can hold onto it. The book started in 2009, with a project I embarked on: interviewing and corresponding with people and trying to write poems for them, that might resonate with them or feel like a gift. I just wanted to connect, I wanted to write things that might mean something quite directly to another human being. I went into hospital at one point, on a psychiatric ward in Chorley, and I took my manuscript with me, I remember carrying it around, as though I was scared someone would steal it or it would be lost. It meant such a lot to me, I had over a hundred sketches and poems. I didn’t just want to steal from people to create poems, I wanted to create poems almost as though I was that person. On a few occasions I felt that I had achieved that some degree. I wanted to be a voice, a medium. The main reason I began the book, the portraits, without any real end in sight, and certainly no ideas of publication at the time, was that I am so infatuated with other people, their stories and their experiences and I wanted to indulge that part of me. And I wanted to try and express all the beauty and all the horror and the complexity of knowing someone and revealing someone, in turn revealing more about myself. And the truth, essentially, I wanted to make truth.
But don’t we all want that. I really hope that people buy my book and that people enjoy my book. I’m very nervous about reading from it at my launch, so fragile it has always felt to me, actually having a bound copy might help it feel more robust. I will feel a bit like I am slowly undressing as I read these poems. They are revealing. And they are every word spoken from a place even I am not wholly comfortable with.
I will be being interviewed by writer Nik Perring, (who has just been longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize), over on his blog http://nikperring.blogspot.com. Coming soon. Tonight I’m just desperate to get my hands on my first copy of A Body Made of You! I can’t wait!
Do tell your friends about the book, and let me know what you make of it!
And thankyou so much for reading. x