A few years ago (I’m being coy here, the internet doesn’t forget), I posted on social media my reaction to a story I’d read by Kyle Coma-Thompson, a writer from Louisville, Kentucky. The global literary community is small and beautiful, like something you’d discover on an empty beach. Kyle’s wife Marie saw the tweet, told Kyle, and Kyle emailed me to see if I wanted to read the collection the story was pulled from. Soon, Kyle was one of my favourite writers, and I was fortunate enough to be penpals with him.
Life – and literature, too – works in strange ways. Kyle and I continued our correspondence, emailing sporadically, then writing some poetry together. For fun, to keep the mind sharp, to explore ideas, to challenge – writers do these things, I guess. This turned into prose writing, trading pieces across the planet while the other slept.
In parallel to this, Joshua Rothes started Sublunary Editions, a small press which mails literature to subscribers every month, as well as chapbooks and small books. The opportunity to put something together for Joshua came up and our collaborative poetry writing suddenly seemed like training for this larger, more serious thing. We had an idea, set the rules and started writing. Soon, by some small miracle, a book-shaped thing materialised.
Now, I’m pleased to announce that 926 Years by Kyle and I will be published by Sublunary Editions on 21 January 2020.
Of course, I’m excited and proud to have another book on the way, and reasonably soon after Letter. The work with Kyle began precisely because of the slump I was in after the work I’d put into the debut – the desire to write was extreme, but the ideas weren’t coming and it was bothering me. I was feeling drained, I should have rested, but writing is usually the thing that gives me energy. Catch twenty-two. But more than that, the work with Kyle has been thrilling – as I mentioned, Kyle is one of my favourite writers; the overriding feeling after reading ‘Spite & Malice’ was envy. I wished I’d written it. He is wise and creative and generous and holds fast to his values, so trading writing with him, waking up to his words, often being inspired and amazed and challenged, is something I will seriously treasure. It was a special way to start the day. Then we had Joshua join in on that – editing, sending cover ideas, talking literature. It almost makes no sense to me to write alone anymore.
I’ve written before on the best part of writing in the twenty-first century being the friends we make. This project just reinforces that. I hope you enjoy it.