My latest book is Murmuration, a collection of poems written over the course of the last year. The book focuses on loss, mental health, love and the impact of isolation on a tired mind.
Inspired by the starlings that gather over a burnt-out pier in Brighton, England, Murmuration is a year’s worth of emotions, anxious thoughts and panic attacks. I think this collection is my attempt to create something beautiful from the chaos of the last twelve months, and to make sense of the things we dare not breathe to life.
Murmuration is available now from Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, and all good retailers.
What’s the last book you fell in love with and haven’t stopped thinking about and recommending?
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. I must have recommended this book a thousand times over the last few months, and I’m currently on my third read.
It’s a novel written as a letter from a son to his illiterate mother, knowing she will never read it. The use of language in this book is stunning, and it touches on themes of race, class, sexuality and masculinity in a way I’ve never quite come across. It’s a truly beautiful book, and one I would thoroughly recommend.
What’s the last book you bought for someone else (and why)?
I recently bought Things We Say In The Dark by Kirsty Logan for a friend of mine. It’s a collection of dark short stories, exploring women’s fears and themes around the female body, domestic claustrophobia, violence and desire.
I chose it because I knew the subject matter would resonate with her, and I thought the format of exploring these topics through short horror stories was an interesting one. She has always been drawn to the exploration of dark themes through unique narrative devices, and this seemed like a perfect choice.
What’s the last book someone gave you?
My girlfriend bought me If Cats Disappeared From The World by Genki Kawamura. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m really looking forward to getting into it. She thought I would appreciate the use of language, and described it to me as a beautiful meditation on the meaning of life.
What’s on your bedside table to read next?
I have a rather large pile of books to get through, including those I’ve already mentioned. I have several poetry collections to read, including The Historians by Eavan Boland, the 2022 Forward Book Of Poetry and How To Fly by Barbara Kingsolver.
The next book I’ll probably read, however, is Weather by Jenny Offill. I’ve been meaning to read it properly for weeks, and I’m really interested in the non-linear narrative and the way she blurs fiction with memoir, it feels like it will be a fascinating read.
Blake Auden is a poet and artist based in Brighton, UK. He has published three collections of poetry, and his fourth book Murmuration is released worldwide on 5th October 2021. You can find links to buy the book here.