I just remembered that I have a book coming out in a few day’s time.
What? You almost forgot about your own book’s publication date?
Well yes. You see this is a two book year for me. Unprecedented and certainly never to happen ever again. My first 2015 publication, the novel The Adventures of Holly White and the Incredible Sex Machine (Text Publishing), has kept me on my toes. I have been on book tour pretty much since half way through April and I have only just got back to the coalface at Avid Reader.
This second book Eating My Grandmother: A Grief Cycle (UQP) was a surprise pregnancy. I was half way through the final draft of my novel when my grandmother died. My grandmother raised me and her death really rocked me, so much so that I could not continue to write. Well, that is not exactly true, because I found I was waking up in the night with words swirling around in my head. I plucked them from dreams and put them on paper and in the morning I realised it must be poetry. I was dreaming poetry. I decided, with a bit of prompting from my writerly friends, that I should go where the words took me. I started to write a book of poems. These poems are not quite a verse novel, they are more like a cycle of poems that shed light on fragments of the story of my relationship to my grandmother, her life and her death and the strange power of grief.
When I had finished writing these poems I could suddenly go back to my novel. But here I was with a hundred pages of poetry and I didn’t know what to do with it. A poet friend Michelle Dicinoski suggested that I enter the Thomas Shapcott award and I was completely gobsmacked a few months later when I found out I had won.
The book that will emerge into the world on the 24th of June is an unexpected but much loved child. It has lead me to an exploration of poetry and I have continued to read and write poetry ever since. It was written in a month in the deep dead heart of grief and it still has the power to immerse me back in that time when I go back to the poems.
I hope this child connects to the right readers. She is a love-child, born of loss. She is a complicated exploration of the joys and horrors of family. She enters the world in the wake of all the media attention that her older sister Holly White has received. She will slip into the world quietly but I hope you love this book as much as I do.
— Krissy Kneen