Wednesday 5 June 2013

Collections and Families

My collection is almost finished, I just have a little more work to do - a few small edits, plus a couple of poems to take out and a new sequence to insert. It feels very scary at this point. I have put in so much work - it will be hard if it gets rejected. I am being realistic about it of course. I know that not much new poetry gets published, and that for every new book a publisher takes on there will be dozens of equally good books that don't make it into print. Add to this the fact that Salt recently announced that they are no longer going to be publishing work by new poets and the chances of a book seem very slim indeed!

However, despite this, I keep on writing. I am currently working on a new sequence. The sequence features a kind of mythological family, but is set in modern times. The sequence revolves around the misogynistic father character who is called Sun Daddy. I have long been interested in the dynamics of families, the different types of family dysfunction, the ways that families handle (or don't handle) pain - the way they bury it, share it around, pass it on.

Family is of course as old as history itself, but the modern family is a much more recent construct. It is often disconnected from the wider family support networks that were relied on (for better or worse) in previous times. The modern family is often an insular, disconnected, and often alienated beast, without the safety net of the family network or organised religion to fall back on in times of hardship. We are an increasingly mobile society, so it is little surprise that the modern family unit is often located geographically far from parents, siblings, and home town. Given this lack of unconditional support it is hardly surprising that families make sometimes make up rituals, rules and coping mechanisms all of their own.