monthly mix

Unframeable Mona Lisa / Songs for April

Thank you, my friends, for all your love regarding the recent announcement of my new book, Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing! As the preorder period has begun, I’ve spent most of the past month thinking about the narratives we call true, the gods we honour & the ones we forget, the experiences we name worth articulating to the world. Since I returned to Singapore I’m trying to exercise more, keep up with my emails, soak in the time with the people I will not see anymore in three months. Eat on time. Draw when I can. Stop leaving so many messages on read. Examine my hands & call them home.

Stunning words on Portrait from its early reviewers, C.S.: “The bold vulnerability of Winters' writing shines through in every word, particularly in the titular masterpiece of this collection. .... Portrait does not disappoint. It ebbs and engulfs in just the right places, leaving a very balanced yet hard hitting impact on the reader's mind.”

& Caitlin Conlon: “There are few writers that I struggle to pin down as much as I do with Topaz Winters. Something about the way she can twine images so neatly to collective feelings of yearning and persistence and absolute necessity is breathtaking in every sense of the word. Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing is an homage to light and all the ways it touches us and all the ways it abandons us in times of need but still manages to return. This is a collection about love, the ways we both survive it and grow with it, and desire, and the way night fades delicately into the dawn (always, always). There is a loud voice in my head begging me to also state that this is her most personal collection to date, but is it? Is it really? Winters gives you the impression of ‘maybe this, or maybe not’ that is unmistakeable, and lingering, and incredibly effective. You are not meant to know everything. This is clear. This is riveting. You can’t help but keep looking at it. … Topaz Winters is a poet to keep your eye on. If you haven’t noticed her yet, you will. She’ll make sure of it.”

You can preorder Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing right here, & listen to April’s mixtape (featuring mostly old favourites of mine, but also some gorgeous just-released singles from dear friends—Paola Bennet’s “Lydia’s Boy” & ÊMIA’s “All I Do”) below. I wish you a love as large as the sky, but with so much less falling.

Sleep On the Floor, Dream About Me / Songs for March

I’m in Oxford at the moment surrounded by wind & smoke & the in-betweens of bright chapped skin. I’m sitting in many small coffee shops & working my way through André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name (I know, it took me forever, but it’s finally happening)—thinking of lines like we had the stars, you & I, & this is given once only—running into readers in the oddest of places, the loveliest most cerulean ways. I’m trying to hold onto what is left of this Europe trip, emblazon it into my memory, my soul, like a harmony that rests always on the tip of my tongue, never quite forgotten, thinking this happened, I was here, don’t lose this.

March’s mixtape contains the songs that have accompanied me through all these brilliant ephemeral things, proof of this, proof of me, proof of a moment, the stars given once only. I so hope you enjoy it. I love you endlessly.

Do You Have the Time, Do You Hate Your Life? / Songs for February

February is at once tender & trembling, moving & still. Most of this month has been spent preparing for my upcoming trip to Europe (t-minus one week!)—buying coats & scarves, booking Eurail tickets & AirBnB’s, practising my French. & in the mean time, I’m putting things in order, tending to old scars & softened things, frequenting a small posy of favourite European places in the neighbourhood (cafés, florists, antique stores, restaurants). I’ve been planning & looking forward to this trip for a year now & I can’t wait to see the gorgeous continent in all its brilliant art-brimming winter-stained glory.

Two quick notes: Half Mystic Press’ new book, Cranesong by Rona Wang, comes out February 13th! It’s our very first short story collection, a deeply bright thing that explores the trauma that clutters our bones, the echoes that infuse our language, every dawn that insists on spinning into existence despite it all. At the same time, the book lingers inside wild wind, consumes the cartography of longing, interrogates all the colours piano music can hold. The stories in Cranesong pinwheel from realm to realm—some fantastical, some deeply modern, and some settling in between. Yet there is an ancestral lineage that braids them together. These characters don't exist in the same world, but if they did, perhaps they'd recognise each other. You can preorder the book here.

Also, if you live in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Venice, Rome, London, Oxford, or Paris, please do give me a shout! I am meeting several readers while I’m in the area & would be so thrilled to go out for coffee or drinks with you.

In the mean time: enjoy February’s mixtape, dear friends! Here’s hoping your month is full of unknowable sweetness & outpaced love.