January 20, 2017
On the sticky retirement of myth
Pegasus got too old
so Bellerophon melted him for glue.
Useless glue; for each pot is full
of feathers. Lovely scrapbooks
are ruined by inconvenient discards,
as grandmothers grow downy beards,
and babies sport Trumpy wigs.
And they fly into the air, too,
the photos, nay, the very books,
and escape into the ether,
to gallivant with feckless clouds.
Never use a famous wingéd horse,
where a broken legged nag will do.
There’s a bit of my recently adopted veganism peeking around the corner of that poem!
A thoughtful review of my chapbook Quick Bright Things: Poems of Fantasy and Myth just appeared at the Science Fiction Poetry Association website (also extracts of the review appear in in Star*Line, the Association’s journal). The reviewer is Sandra J. Lindow, a well-known poet in the speculative field. (The review appears quite a way down the linked page.)
Ms Lindow writes of the chapbook that that ‘(t)he tone clip-clops down a slope elevated by the language [of] Victorian fairy-lore poetry…’. I hadn’t consciously thought of that, but she is quite right. That’s what happens when you write a PhD on Dickens, I guess! And Goblin Market has always fascinated me. The review refers to Christina Rossetti, author of that long poem.
Nice to have an Australian chapbook reviewed at the US based site. I am a member of the SFPA, and recommend it to anyone interested in science fiction, horror, or fantasy poetry.
I was rapt to read that ‘P.S. Cottier’s slender chapbook of nineteen fantastic poems is like an elegant carriage ride through a department store of social criticism.’ Or perhaps I should say enraptured, in keeping with that older time?
Now I’m putting my fingers in my ears and repeating ‘la-la-la’ during a certain inauguration ceremony. Feel free to join in.
October 3, 2016
Here’s the cover of my new book, Quick bright things: Poems of fantasy and myth. It features an excellent illustration by Paul Summerfield, based on the poem ‘The Laws of Cricket rewritten for the Fairy World’ inside the book. It’s a chapbook, with 28 pages packed full of striking gnomes, somewhat sporty fairies, unpleasant elves, skiving but environmentally responsible goddesses, underachieving ghosts, paisley pitbulls, and similar oddnesses.
I particularly like the see through paper after the front cover (and before the back cover) but you can’t see that here. (A kind of parchment, I think.) It feels great, and adds an appropriate air of mystery to the chapbook. I am celebrating its arrival with a coffee in this photo.
The title, by the way, comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where Lysander says:
And ere a man hath power to say “Behold!”
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.
The book is available from Ginninderra Press in the Picaro Press imprint. It costs $5 plus postage. Or buy it direct from me if you are in Canberra. I’m thinking about a wee launch for this wee book, although I’ll certainly be selling it at readings before any such potential extravaganza. (The ISBN is 9781760412197, by the way.)
Note that this is not a book intended for really little children, as some of the fantasy creatures are fairly awful. This is my first collection of purely speculative poetry, if we ignore The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, which I edited with Tim Jones. And that is full of Other People’s Poems. Here is the cover in greater detail:
Overseas (or local) buyers can also contact me via the contact form. This is the best option if you’d like to arrange a signed copy.