The very first poems I had published (apart from the ones at primary school) were in ‘Eat These Sweet Words’, a collection of lesbian poetry (ed Sue Fitchett et al) from Publishing Giant Press in 1999. (If you have a copy, there is a little typo in ‘When You’re Not Here’: “paint lobelias” should be “plant lobelias”). I was very excited at the time about being published in a proper book and excited generally about any kind of book that contained lesbians because there were so few to be found.
By the time the book came out (no pun intended), my long-term girlfriend and I had broken up, meaning the brief bio I’d written was out of date. Things that we think are permanent and immutable sometimes turn out not to be.
These days, I am in a long-term monogamous relationship with a lovely chap. It seems that every time I try to settle definitively on a sexual identity, I get it wrong. But the heart travels where it must and we cannot stop it. My best attempt at definition at the moment is “polysexual” which acknowledges that some of my exes are non-binary or various other shades of gender. I use she & her pronouns, but inside, I just feel kind of human.
Anyhoo, I am delighted to find myself in the company of many amazing writers in the fantastic new anthology “Out Here”, edited by Emma Barnes and Chris Tse. Some of us (Chris Tse, Emma Barnes, Stacey Teague, Ash Davida Jane, Sam Orchard, Isabelle McNeur and I) will be reading in Palmie on Sunday 12 Dec 21 2pm at Te Manawa, amongst Jack Trolove‘s amazing artworks (Jack’s work is on the ‘Out Here’ cover). Come and see us if you’re in the hood.
And here I am being a lesbian in public way back in 1993 (top right in black & purple & sunglasses). We were in the newspaper and everything.