I Speak Home now feels realer than ever.
Over a year ago, I started collecting poems for this '20/20 series' collection, after winning Eyewear's pamphlet competition. The brief: I had to write twenty poems, and they had to be suitable for a 'pamphlet', i.e. not rambling epic poems that took the word count up; it needed to be a slim-spined teaser of a book, but substantial enough to showcase my work.
A year on and I'm proud of what's come out of it. Although much of the poems were written 1-2 years ago, in the run up to me submitting for the competition, many drafts later - and with the addition of more recent work - I've got something I'm fairly proud of (I don't say this easily).
As for the title, I wanted something to signpost that the concept of 'home' turns up in nearly all of the poems. The book starts off with the bold anthem 'This is a poem', which I took from a sign on a wall in Camden (my home turf), before drifting off to poems about places I've called home and places I've belonged/longed for, and ending with the poem 'E17' and the words: 'I miss my old home* like an empty fridge'. I didn't want to call it 'I Write Home' because I wanted speech in the title somehow. It's as much about saying and not saying as it is about writing... I just hope that all comes across, and I'm looking forward to feedback from readers.
Next Wednesday (29th July) is the launch party for I Speak Home and, I believe, three other books on Eyewear's Pamphlet list. I'll give fuller details after the weekend, so stay posted!
*Actually, I've lost track of drafts but I think I've now changed 'home' to 'community' in this poem.