Help to publish poetry collection

Rewards

(Please provide your address privately when donating, to send the book(s) to. Thanks very much)

10 euro: Receive an unsigned copy of my poetry collection, Breeding Monsters (posted/delivered to you/a friend or collected at a book launch)

15 euro: Receive a signed copy of Breeding Monsters with a personalised message for you or a friend if desired (posted/delivered to you/a friend or collected at a book launch) + a PDF/Kindle version of Breeding Monsters

25 euro: Receive a signed copy of Breeding Monsters (posted/delivered to you/a friend or collected at a book launch) + full word-by-word editing of a poem you (or a friend) have written, under 50 lines

50 euro: Receive signed copies of Breeding Monsters and my first poetry collection, Evidence of Freewheeling (or 2 copies of Breeding Monsters if you indicate this preference instead) + full word-by-word editing of 3 poems you (or a friend) have written, under 50 lines each

150 euro: Fireside Reading: This is where I perform for 90 minutes (30 minutes reading my work and one hour facilitating an open mic for the host and guests) at your home/venue if you provide/pay for transport from Galway or Sligo (and accommodation if necessary). Alternatively, I can give a 90-minute class/workshop in your home instead of performing. (Some hosts charge their friends to take part in this, so they share out the cost)

250 euro: Receive full word-by-word editing of either (1) a poetry collection (under 8,000 words or 50 poems under 40 lines each) or (2) 12,000 words of fiction/prose (for example, 4-5 short stories)

(You can enter your email address when donating, which allows me to contact you about delivering your reward)


About the Project

From the age of fifteen, I’ve been bitten by the writing bug. I’ve been writing poetry for twenty years now, and I still love it, but it’s tough justifying the time I have to devote to it. One day, I might decide I have to spend my time on other things, working more, especially as my first child (Nicole) recently came into the world.

I always promised myself I’d never give up writing, but I do have to seriously think about my future as a writer. My first book of poetry was published in the traditional way (by Salmon Poetry), but, what with the publisher’s costs and the writer only getting 10% of each sale, that hasn’t yielded enough to buy more than a couple of weeks’ worth of nappies. Many people might think otherwise, but writers don’t live on dreams for breakfast.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to try the self-publishing route. I’ve set my target at 1,500 euro to cover printing costs, design, promotion, 2-3 book launches (in Galway, Sligo & Dublin, hopefully) and taking unpaid time away from work to finish revising the book. The title I’ve chosen is Breeding Monsters, and the poems in it explore the idea of fear. They tackle uncomfortable thoughts and emotions, how fear acts as a motivator, as inspiration.

The aim is to launch the book by 1 December 2018, and all books pre-bought here before 28 November will be rewarded before Christmas 2018. All other rewards (for editing or performances, as per the 150 euro option) will be fulfilled in 2019. If you'd like me to send a signed book to a friend as a gift, please give details of your friend’s address and mention anything in particular you’d like me to write. You can contact me privately at [email redacted].

Supporting me on this journey would mean a lot to me, as it’s very difficult to survive as a writer these days. If you know someone who has a love of poetry, I’d be very grateful if you’d make them aware of this page. Thank you very much.


Some poems from the collection:

 
Granddad’s Grave
 
Feeney, Gallagher, Wymbs,
Leonard and McHugh –
the surnames of lads I knew in school.
Conways and Devinses lie here, too,

where cold wind ruffles ivy,
squeezes between headstones.
A few deft steps take me there,
standing where he lies.
 
Two rifles engraved, gold on black,
like constellations traced on stone:
Willie, Irish Republican Army,
and words in a language I don’t understand.

Once, he lay in wait near here
with thirty others, guns and tea.
Four RIC men died as shots
echoed across Moneygold fields.

For six weeks, Willie grew frail
and fed on rage in a jail cell,
sick not for the food he refused,
but freedom from British rule.

What do I know of fighting for my land,
of fear and the Black and Tans?
No indignation ever fired me.
I’m neutral, in need of a hill.

Streets are clogged with chanting nurses,
broken people sleeping on streets.
I’ve nothing to say – I’m not that man.
Maybe I need a gun in my face.

Willie was always old to me,
barely able to hold a pipe.
When asked if he ever killed, he’d say:
“Let the man above be the judge of that”.


Razor and Sink
 
To choose the cheek
or the sloping chin:
this face is a hackneyed land.

I dread the jaw, its blind turn,
the raised strait below the nose.
A tilted head shows fear to the world.

Dip and tap – floating rafts
of fuzzy, clotted hair
arrive at lathered islands.

Each clean stroke is a massacre,
curt and precise
or wide as an autumn harvest.

Slick, unpunctuated skin is a curious thing.
A thin thread of red about the neck –
I await the sting.

I could be a bearded man,
but then, I wouldn’t feel my face
rinsed of its errant ways.

The world reverberates to the song of tapped sinks.

 
Seven Fears of an Imminent Father
 
I

Fear of the fact:
your very becoming,
my own mutation
from somewhat feckless to feckful,
a whole new identity,
like a lump of meat cleaved of fat.
And what will become
of your mother and I,
our spontaneity dulled like a blade?
 
II

Two magpies at the end of the garden
– I think they’re attacking a nest.
I can’t prise
the rattle of their throats
from the depths of my thoughts.
This could be the sound of a stranger
– a sheepish man
or a dogged disease –
with talons poised over your head.
 
III

We’re not young,
your mother and I.
We bat away days like bloated mosquitoes,
and one day could leave us bewildered
at the words of a specialist in a stuffy room,
or a car could swerve
into our lane
before you’ve gotten to know us.

IV

There are things I can fix,
like lazy hinges and hard butter
(just hold it against the mug),
but I can’t tangle with schoolroom bullies
or fix the machinery of your mind
when bleak thoughts enter.
Still, I hope you’ll forgive me
if I struggle to accept the role
of spectator.

V

Influence is a pretty cat with lustrous fur
leading you round a corner,
but some corners are sprinkled with needles
and dead-eyed souls who hug the street,
lotus-limbed,
their petals plucked.
And sometimes, I fear
the moment you’ll bud.

VI

Others wait in ambush
to batter your brains or bend your body
to their will, their brutal weight,
leaving you with crippled years.
In the chasm of hours that swallow night,
when I haven’t heard you come home,
I’ll wonder whether you walked
a hideous street
to a grim fate.

VII

The fear of not fearing
or not feeling at all,
of numb obedience
or selfish ways I’ll never shift,
like burnt food caked on a pan,
left unnoticed for months.
Because of this,
you could hate me,
and I’d never know why.
You might even inherit my fears
and hone my flaws to perfection,
just as I
inherited mine.

Organizer

Trevor Conway 
Organizer

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