Dear World: meet This changes things, my debut full-length collection of poetry.
Yep, after all these years, I finally published a book. This changes things has been in the works since 2008, when I started work on my MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. The book contains a couple of poems from my pamphlet, The Mermaid and the Sailors, and a lot of the poems that went into the creative submission of my PhD (also in Creative Writing, also at the University of Edinburgh). It also contains a few new pieces, written with the help of funding from Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund*. The unpublished MS of This changes things was shortlisted for the 2014 Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and poems from it have won the International Salt Prize for Poetry (2012), the Virginia Warbey Poetry Prize (2010), and appeared in a variety of journals and magazines. (Don’t worry — there are also some poems you won’t have seen before!)
The book was initially available to pre-order for about a month, and I’d like to thank everyone who reserved themselves a copy. Thank you! The book is now on general sale, and you can buy one right now and I will ship it out to you in the next day or two.
This changes things: FAQs
* What’s the book about?
The collection is in two rough parts, which, if pushed, I might call “personal and confessional” and “travelling and spaces.” If that sounds too vague, you can have a look at the description I give at this link, and see what you reckon.
* Is it any good?
Well… amazing poets Stewart Conn and Jen Hadfield also said nice things about the book. Check it out:
‘Claire Askew’s voice is arrestingly and distinctively her own, imbued with a sense of caring and inducing, in her more intimate moments, a scarcely bearable poignancy.’
– Stewart Conn
‘Askew’s is a humane consciousness, with a genius for communicating how people tick… She writes with an agenda compellingly, harnessing flashes of imagist brilliance.’
– Jen Hadfield
If you want to find out what other smartypants people think about my writing, you can click here.
* Why should I buy direct from you?
A few reasons. Firstly, I can sign your book for you. Secondly, this is the way that I make the most money from selling the book. Thirdly, if you buy direct from me, you’re literally supporting your local friendly impoverished writer, and none of your money goes into the pockets of [censored! But imagine wording along the lines of ‘multi-national corporations.’ Only, yaknow, specifying which one].
* How else can I buy the book?
The second-best way to buy my book, if for some reason you don’t want to buy direct from me (side-eye), is to order the book in from your local indie bookshop. This is a good thing to do because a) you local indie bookshop then makes some money, and b) if they’re ordering in a copy for you, they may order other copies and put them on their shelves.
(The book is also being stocked by Blackwells and Waterstones, which is very exciting and makes me feel famous. However, please note that when the book is being sold for less than the RRP, my publisher and I make less money off the sale. Support poets!)
* Can I see some of the poems from the book before I decide to buy?
Sure! you can read my poems in various places by clicking right here.
* That cover is gorgeous… who did that?
The cover image is a custom painting by super talented brother, Nick Askew — also known as A Little Bit Askew! If you want to own a piece of his art, you can buy his greetings cards, and other things, at his Etsy store.
This book was not made by just me… I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the following folk:
Cover design and editing: Neil Astley / Bloodaxe
Additional help with editing: Sarah Ream
Blurb: Dave Coates
Author photo: Sally Jubb Photography
Funding: Scottish Book Trust, Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award
Moral support: Stephen Welsh, Alan Gillis, Robert Alan Jamieson
Alright! Hopefully, you’re convinced! If so, you can click right over to the This changes things page, and follow the instructions. If you’re in the UK, the book will be posted to you first class, free of charge, and should reach you within two working days. Shipping costs and times vary for other locations — there’s info on all of this at the link!
Thanks so much for taking an interest in my book!