I’m not a resolution maker. My view has always been that you shouldn’t have to wait for the new year to make new resolutions and changes in your life. Instead, they should be made continuously, as and when you feel necessary. After all, you are unhappy with life, not the year. Still, the new year does have its own charm, after we arrive exhausted and overworked to the end of the last. After we take time to reflect, relax, rest and be happy surrounded by friends and family (hopefully). I don’t personally celebrate Christmas but the festivities themselves seem to have a healing and refreshing effect on me, too.
So, despite not being a resolution maker, I have
kind of made one. And surprise, surprise, it is a literary resolution. It’s not a “amount of books to read” target. (Quality, not quantity etc.) Instead it is to read more poetry, and write it. It is something I have been meaning to do for a while but I’ve always been so stuck in with prose. Currently, the amount of prose (fiction/non-fiction/novels etc.) that I read far outweighs the amount of poetry that I read. So I’ve made it a resolution to read more poetry collections, more critical books about poetry, and on writing poetry, which will hopefully lead to understanding the form better and writing more of it myself. Right now I just pathetically dabble.
I only remember doing a couple of modules on poetry at university and that was also quite a few years ago (time flies!), so instead I’ve taken it upon me to educate my own self, starting with Zelda Chappel’s debut poetry collection, The Girl in The Dog-Tooth Coat (2015). I’m trying not to do that thing where you read a collection in one sitting. I read a few or so, go back and read them again. But so far, this collection is breathtakingly good. I don’t know if that’s the best way, maybe the slow way, but it works for me.
Others on my list are also Warsan Shire’s Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth (2011). Another one that I will be rereading, if anything.
So I guess what I would really love is more recommendations of contemporary/ Welsh/ BAME writers of poetry and relevant, current theory out there on it. The academic in me just can’t bear to give that side up.
What are your literary resolutions this year, if any?