Delighted to announce details of my next book, THE DOGS OF HUMANITY, from Fly on the Wall Poetry, out in August. Big thanks to editor Isabelle Kenyon for her belief and support with this!
As suggested by the title, the poems are thematically linked by imagery, or direct allusion to, dogs and others animals. Canine imagery is used to explore themes of depression and weariness, how societal expectations can leave a person feeling (a runt, a mongrel, etc.). Issues of savagery and lack of humanity are also explored through this imagery.
Elsewhere, animals are such as a motif to retreat into a pastoral idea, an escapism from mental health issues, finding an affinity with a nature that we must also sometimes contest.My aim, as with most of my writing, is to highlight what life is like living with a mental health issue, and to raise awareness and empathy with people who do so. At the same time, I am looking to share a lexicon of nature, both its light and dark side, so keenly developed by proponents such as Clare, Heaney and Hughes.