Steve Griffiths | Author and Poet

Poetry collection sums up 40 years of published work


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Steve Griffiths | Author and Poet

Author profile


Steve Griffiths was born in Trearddur Bay, growing up on the Isle of Anglesey. He always enjoyed English literature and reading, writing poems ever since childhood. Most of his working life was spent in London. First, he was a welfare rights worker and later, he became a researcher and consultant in social and health policy, which involved statistics and a completely different style of writing. He orchestrated a billion-pound scheme for supported housing and wrote studies to reduce emergency hospital admissions, all the while working weekends on his poetry. With other publishers, he had created seven poetry collections starting from 1980. His poems have been widely broadcast and he has given readings in several countries, including in New York.

Approaching his seventieth birthday, Steve wanted to bring together his best work into one collection. Having published 395 pages over the years, it took time for him to collate Weathereye, which is 220 pages of selected poems. He also did some tweaking and some radical restoration to a few of the poems. "I call it an examined life really, a kind of journal of my best work. As I was turning seventy, I wanted to see which poems were important to me from the past forty-odd years - and create space for something new."

A clear publishing journey


He recalls, "It was a late decision to go for self-publishing. I had already put in a lot of work into the book and had a relationship with another publisher, but its publishing Board decided not to go ahead. More people are talking about self-publishing now; good writers are going for it and it has become a much more acceptable option. I found an evaluation of self-publishers online and they were very impressed by SilverWood Books. Thinking about what I wanted, SilverWood was the first company I approached, and their first response was amazingly good."

Steve notes the clear information SilverWood Books gave him. He says, "They outlined the path so well, it immediately made me begin to trust them. They very clearly set out all of the stages and gave me a checklist to work through. It was a wonderful co-operation."

Although the text was finished, SilverWood spent time on the proofs, shaping what was on each page, to check how the poems would begin and end on right-hand or left-hand pages. For the cover, Steve followed his tradition from his previous books - working with his friend, Mexican-born painter, Carlos Torres. The resulting Weathereye graphic shows the rectangle of light through the diamond, like a door opening or an abstract eye looking into the distance. Once the image was finalised, SilverWood replicated it in high resolution for Steve to re-use on his marketing and social media.

Lightning speed production


Steve says, "Working with SilverWood was a really swift process. Right from the beginning to the books arriving here, it was six months. In the convention of traditional publishing companies, that is lightning speed."

He felt their briefings stimulated him to think during the process. He describes, "We soon established a dialogue and it was a process of me bouncing ideas off my publishing assistant. She was really professional and enthusiastic, so it was good to have a companion on the publishing journey. And if my publishing assistant didn’t know the answer to one of my questions, she soon found someone who did."

By the time the book went to print, Steve had his own selected poems promotion plan - using information from the SilverWood briefings and his own contacts and experience. He has arranged a number of readings with this book, particularly in Wales, and plans a launch in London for Spring 2020. To support the readings, SilverWood helped Steve create a series of poem postcards using the cover image.

Steve sums up, "Thinking about the process of development and production; I think it’s been an outstandingly good process and the support from SilverWood for marketing the book was extensive, with things like their advice on pitching to the media and how to approach bookshops. It’s deeply satisfying for me to have done this book at this time in my life. I’m delighted with the quality of the product and my publishing assistant was a delight to work with. After publication, it’s about stamina - you do have to remind yourself that the publishing journey continues - so as not to tail off with the promotional things after the hard work of preparing the book. It feels good to sum up the work I’ve done, but also it created space for me to move on to my next book."

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3d book cover image for weathereye selected poems by Steve Griffiths

Weathereye

Steve Griffiths

Paperback

£9.99

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