Happy new year! I already have enormous amounts to be thankful for this year. Chief of these is the editorship of Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, the editor of E·ratio Postmodern Poetry Journal based in New York. Gregory’s own work, as I have written about here is extraordinary, and challenging and should be explored.
E·ratio itself (and the 29th issue I find myself in) is a fascinating place to visit. The magazine is crammed full of bracing work in a postmodern idiom from writers around the world. It is one of the best magazines I know. I have been a regular visitor ever since I found the site a few years ago.
I had suspected my 24 poem sequence Sin Cycle was always going to be hard to place, especially in the UK — and so it proved. Luckily for me Gregory was happy to risk giving a platform to the unreliable, raw and disreputable voice of this sequence.
The eight line poems in this sequence emerged naturally and quickly, and I was lucky enough that three poets I greatly respect, Robin Houghton, Charlotte Gann and Sarah Barnsley read these poems as they started to take shape. I took a good deal of advice and I should thank them again here for their brains, friendship and support.
William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience lurked in the back of my mind when I was writing Sin Cycle, and the sequence starts with a four line quote from Infant Sorrow.
I was struck by the realisation that I had spent much of my writing life subconsciously wanting to be seen as nice. On some level I realised I had always wanted people to think how clever, or sensitive or aesthetically evolved I was. In these poems I abandoned any idea of smelling of roses or of people thinking well of me. I found it very liberating.