Tomorrow is the day. After nearly four years of lock-myself-in-the-house-at-night-poetry-making, my debut collection, More than you were, is launching in Cardiff.
Friends are already messaging me this morning – ‘Are you excited?’, ‘Can’t wait to see you!’. I am certainly excited, but I am also humbled and grateful and blooming with joy to see these poems in print, to share them with people I love, to introduce them to the public, to read alongside two poets I admire.
But, I’m feeling something deeper too. A fizz in my stomach, a slight edge of fear. It suddenly doesn’t feel that long since my Dad died. I wonder —in the off way people who do not believe in the afterlife might wonder—if my Dad will hear me reading about him. If he’d be happy to fill the room with me, if our voice will carry.
I hope so. Because at the very least, I want him to be proud. The same way he was proud to see my first poem published in a school anthology. I remember him saying that he didn’t understand it but that it looked nice on the page, neat and important.
And, for those of us still alive, I hope this collection will help to start a conversation too. One about loss or addiction or fathers. I hope the poems will offer a small, collective invitation to peer into the dark things in life and talk about them.
For those interested, please do come along tomorrow or to one of my national launches, readings or events and say ‘hello’. Let’s get this conversation going.