Meet the Author: Process of Writing Lifeblood: A Poetry Collection by Erin Truesdale

My first love is poetry, but I’ve never sat down to write poems with the intention of releasing a poetry collection. Whenever I feel a poem coming on, I find something to write on, be it a piece of paper, a napkin, or my iPhone, and write it. Typically this is done quickly before the first line or two evaporate into the ether.
Most of my poems just flow out, and therefore don’t take too long to jot down. The inspiration hits, I write it down, and I go on about my day.
Lifeblood is the culmination of over ten years of my doing just that. Moments of emotion captured in a few stanzas, some rhyming, some not, and kept safe, mostly for nostalgia’s sake, and as a poetic record of what I’ve gone through. The earliest poems I included are from 2002; I admit, I had to do a lot of digging through boxes to find those older ones. But I knew they were there, because I’ve never had the heart to thrown away a poem.
In the year 2013, I wrote many more poems than almost all of the previous years in which I wrote poetry combined. I was born and raised in Minnesota, but from 2011-2013, I lived in Arizona. I had gone through a lot, both mentally and physically, and I felt very alone in place where I knew no one. I had been transplanted, virtually against my will, and felt like a misfit, like an alien. These feelings nudged me forward to write more poetry than what was typical for me. I think that is where the idea of a poetry collection came from.
That, and in May of 2013, I had released my first novel. It was a learn-as-you-go process at the time, but I found quickly that self-publishing is extremely rewarding. I was able to control the content, the name of the novel, how the cover looked, everything. So once I began to write more poetry than prose, the idea came to me: Take all that experience, both in the realm of poetry and that of self-publication, and combine them. And that’s exactly what I did.
In Lifeblood: A Poetry Collection, I took the freedom self-publishing allows and made the cover of my book with my own photography, as well. With the image being my own, I feel like this book is an even bigger piece of me. I took the image featured on the cover in Dingle, Ireland, in the cemetery of the ancient Kilmalkedar church. I was studying in England at the time; it was the best year of my life. The picture is loaded with emotion for me, and goes well with the title of the book, so what better photograph than that to be the face of my first poetry collection? It is bright and vibrant, yet illustrates the finality of death. Two starkly different visuals represented in one photograph; this shows the different emotions displayed in the poetry. Love, deception, loneliness, strength.
Then, I painstakingly edited them, and organized them not only by the year that they were written, but the subject matter with which they deal. Without really conveying a clear story, organized this way, the reader gets a hint of a story floating over the top of the book as a whole, like a ghost. You’ll see, as you read the book, some similar themes throughout, as well as an evolution of sorts, a transformation.
My hope is that the reader will be able to relate to my experiences in their own way, nod in agreement at some, shake your head at others, and exclaim at others. Poetry is, essentially, formatted emotion. We are all humans, so I hope that distinct thread of ‘humanness’ that we all share can be seen running through this work.

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Jennine G.
02 February, 2014 delete

Yay! Nice to see another guest post by Erin! Best of luck Erin!

03 February, 2014 delete

Thank you, Jennine! I appreciate it! :)