Magpie Tales & The Frequency of God – Now Available in eBook

Close-Up Books is proud to announce the release of two poetry titles, The Frequency of God by Mark William Jackson and Magpie Tales by SB Wright.

You can sample each collection via the links above, where you can also find purchase links for the print editions and the newly available ebooks too.

Ashley & Brooke

Patreon Launch!

Hi everyone!

This week I’m launching a Patreon page – for folks who’re not familiar with Patreon, here’s a link a short vid explaining it, but in even shorter form: it’s a way for fans to ensure creators can make more stuff!

I’ve launched my page in order to expand my miniature publishing empire by creating audio books and graphic novels, in addition to more great fiction & poetry in ebook and print formats during 2018. I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to get started!

If you pledge you’ll get early access to new releases, along with exclusive updates, previews, images, videos, fiction and Patreon-only giveaways too 🙂

So far I’ve shared a super-early cover reveal for Never #6 and will be sharing some more from The Last Sea God and a Q&A video soon too.

Check it out right here 🙂

2006 : 2016 (a ‘least worst of’)

The ego of it, right?

Of course there’s got to be at least some involved any time I post, since the very act of sharing my stuff implies that I think it doesn’t suck.

Well, with that in mind, I’ve recently released 2006 : 2016.

In this collection, I’ve tried to cobble together 116 or so pages of poetry that I can still look at without chuckling at myself (or worse :D).

There’s also a few pieces in here that might have been previously published individually but which never made it into a collection, something small for longtime readers — otherwise you’ll find a range of free verse, haiku, haibun and senryu spanning the collections pollen and the storm right up to VI.

* * *

When I started sifting through notebooks, old files and the individual collections themselves, I thought I was taking a final step in book-ending my time as a poet. My fiction was selling and I was finding it harder to commit time to poetry, since I had a couple of ongoing series-length fiction works to keep me busy and which readers seemed keen for.

But the more I looked through my old stuff, even the rubbish, the more I missed poetry.

It wasn’t like returning to an old ‘mistress’ or any of those sorts of cliches, it was more like the cliche of returning to a neglected part of me.

Despite the frustration I’d always feel whenever I struggled with a poem, the way I always fought myself over ‘using language poetically’ while still keeping hold of the idea that poetry was ‘an act of communication that actually needed readers’, I was excited to return to poetry because that struggle was also fun. (I was so excited that I did two things, I started writing poetry again and I sought out two poets from Oz whose work I loved and offered to publish their collections, but more on that in another post!).

Now, writing poetry might seem like a rather unspectacular thing for a poet to do. Utterly regular, really.

But it wasn’t regular for me at the start of 2017, and hadn’t been for a long time. I remember looking at my bio on my website one day and asking myself, am I still a poet if I don’t even write poetry anymore? (‘Ex-poet’ doesn’t look as snappy, huh?).

The act of writing poetry had become ‘irregular’ because I’d stopped writing poetry a couple of years ago. I mean, I still tried here and there, but I went from writing anywhere from 2–5 poems most nights to 20 aborted pieces a month, and then to about 5 finished pieces for an entire year.

And I know why, but it took me a long time to figure it out.

Part of it was the fiction — that was taking off in late 2014 and it was fun, I was giving it a proper shot. But the other part of my poetry-drought came from a crash in confidence; I’d totally lost it when it came to verse.

A few years ago, one of my mentors let me down (and the poetry community here in Australia, and overseas too) in a pretty significant way and I hadn’t realised until this year, while putting together 2006 : 2016, just how deeply his mistakes had impacted me.

I’d tied too much of my self-belief to his support.

Once the depth of his plagiarism became clear, aside from the disillusionment I felt, I realised that if he thought I was good and yet he turned out to be dishonest, how could I trust his opinion of my work?

And so I slowly stopped, just kinda gave up on poetry. Stopped writing, stopped sending it in to comps and mags, stopped reading it, stopped looking for it.

And like I said above, I now see it was stupid of me to tie my confidence up that way. I should have been stronger.

But thankfully, putting this ‘least worst of’ together reminded me that I had improved over the years. When I looked at stuff from 2006 and compared it my most recent work, I saw the change. And it reminded me that once upon a time, I’d push through all kinds of flat spots, all kinds of rejections, and just keep writing. My stubbornness would fuel me; I wanted to get better and for a while I think I did get better each year.

Back in Feb, I collected all the poetry I could find and announced what would “probably be my last poetry collection” rather dramatically, I guess. It seemed the right choice at the time, since my heart wasn’t in poetry anymore— not wholly — but now it strikes me as almost childish. And I’ve since realised that poetry really is Hotel California (and that’s okay too).

Now, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to push myself once more in 2018 and there’s gonna be fiction and poetry this time 🙂

‘Magpie Tales’ by SB Wright + ‘The Frequency of God’ by Mark William Jackson

Close-Up Books is very proud to announce the release of two new poetry collections by Australian Poets Mark William Jackson and SB Wright 🙂

Working with both Sean and Mark has been really rewarding for us; to get so close to the works within has been pretty exciting and so we’re thrilled to release two great collections into the world today!  It’s been a busy few months for everyone in the lead up to publication and we’d like to thank both Mark and Sean for working so hard.

Please visit the Close-Up Books website to read and hear sample poems from both collections and see what we’ve enjoyed so much about The Frequency of God and Magpie Tales!

Ashley & Brooke

 

 

 

In Magpie Tales Australian poet SB Wright reveals a keen eye for capturing both people and places, his deft imagery transports the reader effortlessly from rural Australia and beyond. The pieces within explore a changing inner landscape too, where the contested terrain of small town identities and national issues are played out in clear, lyrical verse.

Sample the collection here

 

 

 

In The Frequency of God, Australian poet Mark William Jackson is by turns reflective and rallying, as he explores closeness and distance, love and change, and perfectly articulates the hostile coopting of social space by technology.

Sample the collection here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Poetry Releases + Exciting News

Hi everyone, sharing some poetry news today!

First up: the previously announced reissue of my 2009 collection Stepping Over Seasons, which has been expanded, is finally available as both print and ebook.

Second, I’ve also compiled a ‘least worst of’ (2006:2016) which draws from all my collections and hopefully presents some highlights along with stuff that I was keen to include. While (at the moment) 2006:2016  is only available as a print edition, both it and the new SOS feature previously uncollected/unpublished work too (SOS also includes a short author’s note on the selection process etc).

(SOS cover by Vivid Covers)

 

Both books are available at most retailers, like Amazon    B&N    Fishpond    Angus & Robertson Bookworld    Book Depository etc if you wanted to check them out 🙂

 

AND now onto the big news! Close-Up Books will soon be publishing two new poetry collections 🙂

We’re very proud to be releasing Magpie Tales by SB Wright and The Frequency of God by Mark William Jackson! Both collections are due to launch officially this Thursday (but you might be able to find some retailers selling it early) so stay tuned for more info, including samples and purchase links 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

VI – Review

Here’s a couple of reviews for VI, very happy that folks have noticed the more personal elements to this one 🙂

SB Wright’s Review of VI

No, when I say more personal, it’s not that Capes hasn’t written in detail about his life, travels and growing up in a setting that I can deeply relate to, it’s that VI seems to let the reader in much closer.

Ulla on Goodreads

Again we find poems about reminiscences to the Italy trip in 2011, which show great longing to go back there, e.g. slow clap, each pale song or mercy, especially the last one appealed to me at once.

 

Thanks to both Sean and Ulla for taking the time to review VI 🙂

 

 

 

VI on Sale for 99c / $10

Just a quick note to say that my final poetry collection VI is on sale for the first time since it’s release – the ebook is 99c across various retailers and I have a few print copies left, which I’m selling for $10 posted 🙂

(click the image to choose your preferred retailer)

 

And you can contact me via e-mail to order a print copy 🙂  [     mountain0ash[at]gmail[dot]com    ]

 

You can also sample some of the poems here:

four poems
each pale song
into a tin can