FIRST CUT POETRY SERIES As you may or may not know, my debut prosetry book History of Present Complaint is being published by Close To The Bone in February 2021. My book is part of an exciting, ground-breaking poetry series called First Cut in which a brand-new poetry chapbook is released every month from now, each book written by a different (super-talented and all-round awesome) writer. This series of poetry books is actually Close To The Bone’s first foray into poetry – and it’s fair to say that the poetry editor, Stephen J. Golds, has definitely decided to “go hard” with this venture by publishing a set of (digital and paperback) poetry books as his first project: no dipping toes in, no testing the waters, just diving straight into the sea of poetry publishing and (already) making an almighty splash. I cannot express how buzzing I am to be a part of First Cut. Like. Pinch myself-dream come true-can’t believe it-omgomgomg-my poetry, me, my book, being released in First Cut, alongside so many incredible poets? First Cut is unlike what’s been done before – the range of subjects, styles, voices, formats is game-changing: the possibility of having an exciting new poetry book land in your hands every.fucking.month for the foreseeable makes poetry more readily available and easily accessible than it is currently. How awesome is that? For those who prefer digital, the e-book versions can be pre-ordered while you wait for the paperback release. And, let me just say, describing First Cut as being a series of “chapbooks” is being modest… these books are not flimsy home-printer jobs, A4 pages hastily stapled down the centre, with more front/back matter than actual poetry… no: these are proper full-length BOOKS of poetry (mine is approx 70 pages without filler), beautifully printed and presented to the highest quality. Each book is a different colour so as each volume is released you’ll steadily build up a rainbow of unique texts, and it won’t cost you the world – the series is so affordable that even I, a piss poor poet, am able to buy both the e-book and the paperback versions and still have enough in my account for a bottle of wine to drink while reading. There’s no dressing up here, no conforming to what poetry editors want or expect, no sugar-coating or down-playing, no chopping and changing, trying to remodel our poems to fit a journal’s aesthetic or editors’ preferences – it’s simply real poets sharing their real work, work which has been deemed “too dark” “too raw” “too real” “too gritty” to be published by mainstream publishers, poetry so organic that it can’t fit into one genre or neat themed issue, or adhere to strict guidelines – poetry that shouldn’t be compromised, that deserves to be experienced in its purest form. First Cut is for those who say “Fuck 40 lines max, this is MY poem and I’m telling it MY way,”; for those who don’t feel they fit in with the majority in life, in art, in thought; for those who cannot define themselves in simple terms and feel uncomfortable with being restricted and reduced to a category; for those are bored/disillusioned/too familliar with everyday poetry and want to try something new. This is poetry without rules: real, raw, and presented as the author intended. Trust me, these volumes are worth every penny and then some, just for the experience of discovering something new. If you haven’t heard of First Cut over the past few weeks, you have now. And it’s definitely a poetry project to watch, already causing a storm on social media and getting 5* reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I hope my book (#4 in the series) matches up to the excellence of the rest of them. I’m so buzzing about First Cut that I’m going to share my thoughts on each book on here – these books deserve to be shouted about and deserve to be heard. Review of First Cut book #1 is on its way… In the meantime, check out the other poets in the series! – By the way, any mention of First Cut and the books in the series on my blog is simply me sharing my life with you all, as I always have done – no one’s asked me to hype them up and I’m not getting anything from this – I’m just so excited and want to share!