Last night, Insistence got its first outing upstairs at the Flute and Tankard in Cardiff. It was the first of three launches, since three is the magic number – it’ll also get outings in Dublin and Cork. This one was special not only because it was the first, but because Cardiff is where (I hope) I’ve landed for the long haul. I’m nearing the end of my second year here and the city and I are getting used to each other. It was also the first time my son turned up to one of my poetry readings. He’s five. He sat at the back and read a magazine about Go Jetters, but it still counts. I feel that his presence gave a certain drama to the proceedings each time a poem required me to swear.
Launching your second collection isn’t as dramatically mind-blowing as launching your first, and people are much less surprised about it. The first time around, I got a lot of odd looks: “You wrote a book? When?” “You write poetry? Why?” This time around, the only surprise was that it had taken me so long. But second time around is quietly mind-blowing in its own way. After the first collection, I was terrified that I’d said all I’d had to say for myself. Maybe I was one and done. Now there are a plurality of books. This makes it significantly more likely that there are books yet to come.