“Fair Teisa’s Winding Stream Invites my Lays”

The book is out in the world – sort of. We’re living in strange Brexity Covidy times where there seems to be a shortage of paper and maybe also a shortage of non-isolating print workers; it seems that lots of people’s new books are experiencing delays. But Amazon in the UK can do print-on-demand copies of Following Teisa and I’m told the bulk stock of print copies will be with us in a week or so and available from my publisher, Kathleen Jones at The Book Mill. Thank you to my early Amazon reviewers, and to Nicola Jackson, who listed my book as a “Book of the Year” in the current edition of Poetry News. I’m blown away.

It is so frustrating trying to promote a book about north-east England when I’m living in Ireland – awful timing on my part.The poetry community is very regional. After moving up from Oxfordshire in 2014 and leaving all the poets who knew me in the south-east, I began all over again and made poetry friends in Durham, Teesside, Newcastle and Cumbria. Now I’m starting all over again in County Dublin where I know nobody. Thank goodness for trusty Zoom, which we are using to have a launch tonight. The glorious Rob Francis and Sarah Doyle are reading with me, for which I’m most grateful.

I’m planning to be in England for a very special reading in Middlesbrough at the Crossing the Tees Festival on 13th June, and hoping to squeeze some additional readings either side of it in some kind of book tour. So if there is a poetry night that you would like me to read for, please let me know.

There are more thank yous to do. In particular, to my publisher Kathleen Jones at The Book Mill and to the North Lakes Stanza, who reviewed chunks of this poem at their meetings in Penrith, to Jo Bell, Bob Beagrie, and John McCullough for reading the whole thing and saying nice things on the book cover, and especially to Holly Magdalene Scott, who did the amazing illustrations that add so much to the quality of the book. All I can do now is hope you enjoy this journey down the River Tees.

Peg Powler by Holly Magdalene Scott

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