“What is it they say about / love? That it’s only possession reimagined. That / it lives outside the body. That it’s florid & empty / & cheating & thankful for so much, so much / it doesn’t know how to name. All her life the girl / has eaten. Now it’s your turn. Doorbell ring. / Quiet bruise. Price of deadly. Anything is yours / if you swallow it.”
My darlings, the rumours are true: I have written a new book! It’s a ravenous skin-searching tender-hearted joy to tell you that preorders for my fourth book, Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing, are open now. You can preorder the collection right here.
This book means so much to me—it’s the most vulnerable, intimate, furious collection I’ve written yet, full of teeth & yearning, unlike anything I’ve released before now. Portrait was chosen as a finalist in the 2018 Broken River & Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prizes, & contains many poems you’ve read before in journals & on the blog (like “Trigger”, “For H”, “Lightning / Hunger”, “Infernal / Inferno”, “When My First Boyfriend Learned I Was on Anti-Psychotics, He Laughed & Told Me He Always Suspected I Was Crazier Than I Let On”, “Quell”, “Mealtime”, “Serenade to Surrender”, & “Pandora”) as well as dozens more brand-new, never-before-seen pieces. The gorgeous cover art is done by my dear friend Lim Charlotte (we’ve been saying we should work together for ages, & I’m so glad we finally made good on that promise!).
The synopsis of the book is as follows:
Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing is an award-winning, omnivorous collection of poetry residing in the space between confessional & manifesto. Portrait is interested in the immediacy of language; in girlhood as wolfhood; in the cartography of illness; in fractures through the dark; in bodies, human & water alike. Luminous, tender, & unflinching, Portrait cuts straight to the marrow. To all those whose bodies have been more bruise than human—who feel so loudly the sky turns black in fear—this book is for you.
Cyril Wong, author of Below: Absence & Oneiros, said of Portrait: “If you’re hollow, a robotic intellect, an emotional pragmatist, this breathless poetry isn’t for you. If you haven’t known danger because you never rubbed ecstatically against passion’s razor, drawing more than blood every time, this isn’t for you. If you haven’t desired past drowning, clawing or swimming to the surface only to free-fall into shards of light, you haven’t known love, life has been a waste—and this poetry isn’t for you.”
Blythe Baird, viral spoken word poet & award-winning author of If My Body Could Speak, commented: “The unflinchingly brilliant and reflective words of Topaz Winters will leave you breathless and profoundly understood. Each poem serves as a window into a technicolor memory. Winters is courageous and keenly observant, a fiercely poignant voice I predict will thunder for years to come.”
Wong May, author of Picasso’s Tears & Superstitions, wrote: “Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing throbs with the conviction and passion of young adulthood—it is a force, movement, struggle, growth.”
& finally, Logan February, author of Mannequin in the Nude & associate editor at Dovesong Labs, said: “‘This is the way a girl becomes a bomb,’ Topaz Winters declares, in this ticking register of girlhood, illness, and queer desire. Portrait of My Body as a Crime I'm Still Committing is a palimpsest, upon which Winters writes and rewrites every nightmare and fairytale made up in the caverns of her glorious imagination. The work is haunted with such hope, nerve and tenderness that break the heart open.”
If your interest is piqued, you can preorder Portrait right here! Preorders help so much in establishing early interest with bookstores & other stockists, as well as deciding how large the first print run should be—& of course, those who preorder will be the first to receive the book on launch day! (Also, if you preorder a signed copy, you may or may not be receiving a little surprise gift to go along with it. But you didn’t hear that from me. ;))
You can talk about Portrait on social media using the hashtag #crimeimstillcommitting, & add it to your shelves on Goodreads right here! The book comes out on May 27, & in the weeks leading up to launch day I’ll be sharing many lovely goodies on my Twitter, Instagram, & love letter list, from advance reviews to excerpts to playlists to interviews to giveaways to press features. If you’re based in Singapore, there will also be a launch event happening around the 27th—more on that so so soon.
Once more, here’s where you can preorder my new book, Portrait of My Body as a Crime I’m Still Committing. Thank you for your support, dear friends. I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for this release, or how much I love you for letting me pursue this gorgeous dream of mine. You’re the reason I’m here, creating still, & you’re the reason I’m able to put these beautiful things into the world. I hope this book gives you precisely what you need to hear right now—that would be the greatest possible honour.