The Creation Of Chrysalism ...

By Lucy Harbron - 05:10





chrysalism. n. the amniotic tranquillity of being indoors during a thunderstorm, listening to waves of rain pattering against the roof like an argument upstairs, whose muffled words are unintelligible but whose crackling release of built-up tension you understand perfectly.

My first book chrysalism is available for pre-order now and you can get yours HERE ready for release on April 24th.

This book is so close to my heart, it's me in pages. Not only is each book written, printed, folded, bound, numbered by me in my bedroom; but these pieces and these poems are me. So I wanted to talk a little about the creation of chrysalism and the collection as a whole.

I write pretty much everyday. I carry my little black notepad with me pretty much everywhere just in case, and whenever I can't shake a thought or a feeling, or I'm trying to process something, or I'm going through something I scribble it down. I've never had the level of commitment needed for a traditional journal, and if someone asked me to write a simple account of what's been going on in a particular week or day, I probably wouldn't be able to do it. But gradually, writing poems and playing around with words and images became a sort of journal for me. I joke to my friends that I will always be a selfish writer, because everything is about me, for me. Looking through my work I only really see the experiences that caused each piece, I previously never really gave much thought to the structure or like stylistics of my work. But then I started becoming more confident and showing my work, publishing it on Kiloran, or here, sending it off to mags, as well as just showing friends. And it reminded me that no man is an island, and there's never really such a thing as a totally personal experience.

I got really into reading the work of people like Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, John Cooper Clarke, and realised that these incredible collections had an undeniable base in personal experience. Like Cohen directly names people in his work, he was so extraordinarily personal and open but remained so creative and eloquent. And after that, I knew I one day wanted to release a collection like Cohen's The Book Of Longing, a poetry collection that wasn't rigid in it's form; merging structured poetry with illustrations and handwritten notes. I knew if my poetry was going to be personal, the collection I was planning out in my head needed to be personal too. And that's why I eventually settled on the name chrysalism. That feeling of being just past the storm, witnessing a release of tension and understanding it, that's how I kind of see my writing. It's like a rocky understanding, kind of creating my own hindsight by working through something creatively.

I've had that idea in my head for yeaarrrsss, every now and then starting to group poems but never fully doing it. When I turned 18 I felt really down on myself, as my goal was to always achieve something significant before my 18th birthday. And god knows I've achieved, I have this blog, I set up Kiloran, I write for many platforms, like I think I've done more than enough to make myself proud. But the book thing always lingered, because I wanted an achievement to hold.

A month ago I was walking home tipsy with a man I love and he told me I should just do it. He said I should self-print, self-publish, spend some time and make a hand-crafted, beautiful little limited edition collection that people that appreciate work like that will appreciate. He believed I could so I started working on it, and less than a week later I had a first draft. Since like the start of March I've been going through my notepads, making decisions about layout and paper, refining a theme of the collection, deciding what I wanted it to look like. It's been scary and stressful, but I've got it to a point where even if chrysalism is read by no one, I'll love it and hold it dear as it's years of my work, and traces years of experiences and thoughts. I couldn't be more in love. The paper, the colours, the illustrations, my favourite pieces ahhh.

It feels like a long process, when really the whole thing has come together in like a month. Craaaazy.

Each time I get a notification for a pre-order, I freak out. The Lucy that's never wanted to do anything but write, and always just wanted books in a bookshop, is freaking out. Seeing people enjoy my work, and wanting to support me means the world, like I can't quite articulate it. And on top of that. the fact that chrysalism will be stocked in my fave fave fave bookshop in Sheffield is insane, I haven't quite grasped that yet.

And that's the story of chrysalism from thought to birth. What a beautiful little baby she is.

I'm probably going to do another post about the collection before release, but if you want a lil book hand-made with love, I'm your girl and it would mean the world!

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