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Silencing the Dictator (and other poems) is my second book of poetry (following PROTOGENOS) and is centered around a suite of the same name, addressing the connection between Charlie Chaplin, his film The Great Dictator, Adolf Hitler and the genocide of the Jewish people during World War II.
Alongside the main suite is a smaller narrative piece “Air and Water” and various other pieces to make a total of 56 poems.
I’m not going to spin you a line. It’s a book – it doesn’t have any healing properties and I make no claims it will absolve you of your sins. However, assuming you’re here because you like my work and want to support me – if you buy the book, the money which isn’t spent in manufacturing and sending it to you, goes directly to me being able to make more. It’s a simple way for you to support me, and you get a book too. Win-win?
Why did you choose to self-publish?
Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t lost faith in the traditional industry just yet…
That said, poetry has always been a niche market and is treated by such by major publishers. If you look in any industry guide there are multiple major publishers who explicitly state that they will not accept poetry submissions. That means that boutique publishers and agents are the only ones really putting new work out there. In that sense, their market isn’t that much bigger than the independent market but is still tied down by all of the delays of traditional publishing. By self-publishing my work, I can release more work, at a higher frequency, while maintaining complete creative control over the process.
Silencing the Dictator is an eclectic mix of subjects, combining poems about romance, wordplay, zombies and 15th century Italian painters. There are many who wouldn’t let such a mix stand side by side with a major suite of holocaust poetry. There are those who say that holocaust poetry should be reserved for war veterans and Jewish descendants. I wrestled with the idea of the Jewish voice being a more authentic voice than my own, but decided that history is better experienced through a variety of voices, including that of an anglo-saxon Australian born years after liberation. Poetry should be loved or hated, it should be discussed and engaged with. Though ‘Silencing the Dictator’ is different to other holocaust poetry, I hope that it provides something valuable in its newness. By taking the project on by myself, I was able to take that out of the hands of a select few and put it in the hands of the reader.
By self-publishing, I can also set a price which matches what I want to offer my fans and supporters. Silencing the Dictator (and other poems) is selling at a low profit margin because I want this work out in the world as I move forward and create more. I want poetry to be affordable for students and people who might not otherwise read it. I don’t want price to be any kind of stumbling block between what I have made and those who choose to read it.
I want to read your book, but I can’t afford it.
If you have legitimate circumstances that keep you from getting a copy, please let me know. For those who have a strong desire to read my work, I want it to be available, particularly if they are students or emerging artists. Get in touch and tell me your story and I’ll see what we can do.