Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff
Love and Loss and Other Important Stuff was always going to be the title of my first poetry collection. It originally derived from the poem Love and Loss, Swedish Style, but then developed a life of its own. I think I liked the fact that it covered the key topics of poetry before descending into bathos. That said, humour can cause a certain amount of confusion, as Foyles seem to have categorised the book under Philosophy, Psychology & Social Sciences > Sociology > Sociology: death & dying. Never mind.
I submitted the collection in various forms to a LOT of places, gradually refining it as better poems appeared to replace the weaker ones. Here are some of the highlights:
In 2009, a selection of ten poems was a finalist in the New Writer Awards.
In 2012, a selection of fourteen poems was longlisted for the Venture Award.
In 2015, a selection of nine poems came close to getting a pamphlet published by V. Press.
Then finally, in 2016 Silhouette Press decided to give it a go. Interestingly, this was the first time that my submission consisted of a complete manuscript, rather than just a sample selection. Maybe I'd just been picking the wrong selection...