Sarah Salway is Canterbury Laureate and Royal Literature Fund Fellow at the London School of Economics. You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book is her first poetry collection, and she is the author of three novels (Something Beginning With, Tell Me Everything and Getting the Picture) and a collection of short stories. Her poems have won significant prizes in competitions organised by Poetry London, the Essex Poetry Festival and The New Writer, and have appeared in publications including the Financial Times, The Virago Book of the Joy of Shopping, Mslexia, Pen International and Poetry London. Sarah is the Chair of the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society and her website is here.
You Do Not Need Another Self-Help Book launches on Thursday March 8th at the Phoenix Artist Club on Charing Cross Road, London. Poets Catherine Smith, Sue Guiney and Pindrop’s own Kiran Millwood Hargrave will also be reading. All our welcome.
‘Sexy and Tragic – my favourite combination.’ Will Hermes, Rolling Stone Magazine and author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever
‘A dissection of the secrets, desires and addictions that haunt contemporary relationships; darkly funny at times, Sarah’s poetry shows us the extraordinary richness and complexity lurking just below the surface of so-called ‘ordinary’ lives.’ Catherine Smith
‘Subtly angled glimpses of love, sex, marriage, which reveal them as they really are: matters of life and death. There’s a quiet sizzling underneath the surface of these poems, which can make you smile and wince at the same time.’ Philip Gross
‘Sarah Salway is an astonishingly smart writer. I can’t wait to see what she does next.’ Neil Gaiman
‘Salway is fearless in her choice of subjects: she is good on contemporary themes of love, betrayal and twenty-first century isolation, as well as sensuality and violence…This is energetic writing, ripe with menace and wit.’ Nuala Ni Chonchuir, The Stinging Fly about Leading the Dance
Love and Stationery
Tonight, women dream of stationery;
well thumbed catalogues hidden
in bedside tables, falling open
at filing solutions. Some promise
this will be the last time, one final look
at industrial size staplers, hole punches.
Others take it further. Post-it notes
edge their desire as they chase private
rainbows husbands don’t understand.
At lunchtime, propelled out by a need
for highlighters, their fingers brush
sellotape dispensers as they imagine
being held by paperclips,
protected by bubblewrap,
wiped clean with Tippex.
In quiet moments,
they will pull out new journals,
those blank, lined, empty pages waiting
to be filled; who knows what magic
will result from an organized life?
At bad times, when the ink runs dry,
you will find a woman standing in front
of an open stationery cupboard, the flutter
of her heart stilled by the solid weight
of correspondence quality paper.