Julia’s two anthologies Sudden Collapses in Public Places and Apology for Absence form the backbone of the book. The collection also includes a selection of poems from her early work published in the Poetry Virgin’s anthologies Modern Goddess and Sauce, in addition to the title poem from her first pamphlet Small Beauties. The poems Julia wrote for postcards as part of the First Aid Kit for the Mind are all published here for the first time along with other unpublished poems, some of which she wrote in the months before she died.
The collection has been edited by Julia’s partner Bev Robinson and the introduction is by Jackie Kay. Jackie writes: ‘Here are poems that quietly make themselves known, poised, light on their feet, nimble, balancing the surreal with the real; but do not be fooled by their enviable lightness of touch. These are poems that work by stealth, poems that also know how to ‘wait beautifully’. They creep up on the reader with their charm, nudge you into thinking – isn’t that it exactly! They ask brave and deep questions about human beings and how people cope with trauma and stress.’