Satisfaction, vulnerability and a strange sense of shedding an old skin. It’s not every day you see your name on a new cover.
I collected a box of author’s copies of The Nightwork this weekend. Thumbing through the pages looking at the poems it contained, each one arising from (though not necessarily about) a particular episode of my life. It’s a curious feeling to see these strings of words turned into a physical object. I look at the pamphlet like a lizard examining its discarded papery skin. A curiously good feeling.
One of the really happy things about the collection is that I asked Rhona McAdam, whose poetry I have been reading for decades, to write a blurb for me. She did me proud. “In The Nightwork, Peter Kenny revisits the traditional hunting grounds of poetry – art, myth philosophy, history – and returns with fresh poetic plunder. His material ranges from the personal to the fanciful as he deftly lures us into an original poetic world with rich and supple language. An overdue collection from this fine poet.”
I called the collection The Nightwork, for the non-amazing reason that lots of the poems have a nocturnal flavour and were written at night. But also because some its recurring emotions – guilt, sadness, powerlessness and suppressed anger – seem to be the kind of things that plague you waking up in the middle of the night.
I am delighted with the way this wee collection turned out. With its cool cover from Hannah Clare, The Nightwork will be launched at readings alongside Robin Houghton, and her excellent The Great Vowel Shift in Lewes, Brighton and London soon. More details here when these dates are finalised.