Monday, 24th October 2016
I’m excited to announce that my poetry collection What Slight Gaps Remain has been published by Blue Hour Press!
The collection is a combination of poems selected from my PhD portfolio (titled The Origin Stories), poems from my Masters’ degree collection (titled Of Water and Light), and new writing.
I haven’t gotten my hands on a physical copy yet, but my editor sent me photos. I’m taking them as real-life evidence that my words tangibly exist, sewn together and bound, in the world. I’ll pick up a bulk-order during my upcoming trip to San Francisco to bring back to Sydney. Until then, the book is still only present on my computer screen.
It’s a strange feeling to know this can exist on bookshelves. I’m not unfamiliar with my words being read (30 poems from this collection have been previously published online and in literary magazines). But I send them off into the world, they get adopted (or returned, returned, returned, and eventually adopted), and when they’ve found their new forever home, I let them be. I don’t really return to them, unless to refer someone to a line or snippet that might help to describe an experience they’re going through.
This is a collection. Here, things are collected and kept. That feels so different.
I was very lucky to have three wonderful early reviewers, consisting of Alan Gillis, Jane McKie, and Kirsten Kaschock. Enjoy their reviews below, and pick up a copy. (Expert tip: reading poetry in public is making a comeback. I’m sure of it.)
Reviews of What Slight Gaps Remain:
Alan Gillis, author of “Scapegoat” and “Here Comes the Night”:
“These are poems that address the heart of the matter – what it means to live, to love, to want to do good; and which also probe beyond the periphery of things and of thoughts. With wit, intelligence and dazzling linguistic prowess, this book examines what we hold before us, and what slips between the gaps. Scrutinizing places and relationships, memories and happenings, fictions and myths, the collection is marked by its copiousness and range. From high lyricism to chatty intimacy, objective imagism to fluid yet surreal streams of consciousness, Sedlak’s curiosity and talent recognise few limits. This is a trailblazing first collection.”
Kirsten Kaschock, author of “Sleight” and “The Dottery”:
“Emma Sedlak’s debut book of poetry is a hymnal to the impossible work in front of us—to be open to this world and to one another while reaching for something beyond it. Throughout this remarkable collection, she moves in and out of a broken story—Icarus’—and rewrites the wound, stitching with words a path towards wholeness. Sea and stars always unmoor us, but in Sedlak’s poems, they also provide the expanse that, as Rilke writes, allows us “each to see the other whole against the sky.” The poet trusts readers to lay their lives upon this map in palimpsest, to seek, among strands of love and pain, the golden thread—a middle way. This book vibrates. Its resonance thrums deep because Sedlak moves forward “… [as] though any of these difficulties could be told.” This is the good work, the core work, the necessary work. Enter into it alongside of her. As you dip in and out of its depths—note how the sun warms your shoulder-blades, how the wind sustains you.”
Jane McKie, author of “When the Sun Turns Green”:
“What Slight Gaps Remain, Emma Sedlak’s debut collection feels imbued with earth and air: it skillfully marries a humane concern with the fabric of our lives with a questing and philosophical acuity. Icarus is here, testing the elements, but work is here too in a pervasive lyric attention to community and ordinary labour that feels suffused with love. Like the foetus visible through the skin of a mother’s stomach that she describes, delightfully, as a ‘lima bean’ steadily taking form, the light in this collection unfolds in the mind long after setting it down.”
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