Thursday, 25 July 2013

Floral thanks

I keep thinking of things I meant to tell you about The Linen Way, like the fact that it has links to audios of Melissa reading pertinent poems, and embedded audios in the PDF and ePub versions, as well as the link to a precious video of Melissa reading her work in 1987: a gorgeous young woman who was also fragile and terribly ill.

There are many people to be thanked for the fact of The Linen Way coming into existence, not least of whom is Melissa. As most of you know,  she is a treasure: sensitive, funny, wise, and a pleasure to work with. She discusses the writing of her memoir here.

Claire Beynon introduced me and Melissa, and was the go-between until we were both certain we wanted to take on this publishing venture. Claire visited Melissa earlier this year and while waiting for her taxi to the airport, redeemed the minutes by capturing half a dozen audio clips of Melissa reading her poems, such as this one here. I have goosebumps listening to Melissa's voice conjuringher poems. Claire's is the striking cover image for The Linen Way (a detail from a painting — oil on paper — titled 'Shadow and Shimmer' 2013), and the typographic design. She also helped me considerably in sharpening up the blurb.  Phew, friends. 


My mother Elizabeth Todd proofread an earlyish version (I know proofreading is intended for the last version but we had several lasts in this case), gave helpful feedback, and marvelled at the lucid insight into mental illness that Melissa's story gave her.

Caroline Jackson became Caroline Pope ( an autumn wedding) in the course of page-designing The Linen Way. She's always extraordinarily cheerful and competent no matter what oddities and final, final, really final requests I keep dropping in her lap.

 Melissa's very dear friend and colleague Ann Kjellberg of Little Star Journal contacted the prestigious Parnassus Review, as a result of which editor Ben Downing published an extract of The Linen Way in both and hard-copy and online magazines.

A handful of Melissa's friends and fans expressed their delight and anticipation on learning of the (long-)imminent publication of The Linen Way.

Poet Zireaux wrote fine and heartfelt lines about Melissa's work and intends writing more soon.

There are others who have supported and encouraged us along the way. To all of you, named and unnamed, many thanks.

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