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Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not writing lately, I wish I had a better excuse than just being wildly distracted (and more than a little stressed and anxious!).

We’re just over a month from the release of How To Be Autistic, which is exciting and terrifying in equal measure. Things are starting to fall into place with regards to media and the like, I did my first interview the other day, I don’t think I’ve ever talked that much in my life before! I feel so incredibly unqualified to answer the questions I’m asked – and incredibly lucky that people actually want to hear what I have to say, it’s a very weird position to be in, and I hope to use it to benefit people as best I can. The whole point of HTBA, after all, is to not just raise awareness, but push towards real change and progress, as well as offering people who have for so long felt othered a home, somewhere to belong.

My anxiety is making this all very difficult for me, as are the stress migraines that are making the days very hard to get through, but we soldier on! This is a life-changing moment, and I want to make the most of it. I am aware of the privilege I have, and I don’t want to waste it.

The book launch party is on September 11th, and I look forward to seeing everyone who helped make the book possible. A book is not one person’s work, but the work of dozens of people, all of whom, I’ve found, are lovely and kind and generous.

I am working on a new spoken word piece, so far I’ve written the script and recorded the audio and just need a few supplies to film the visuals. I’m very proud of it so far, and hope you will like it too. When it’s done, I’ll be sure to post it here.

The future is unknowable, except that in just over a month, my life will change, and I will be a published author. Which is all I ever wanted to be. This isn’t the path I envisaged I’d take, back when I was seven years old, but I’m glad I’m here now, and I’m excited for whatever happens next.

You really can’t predict these things, nor can you predict the kindness of strangers and the weird twists of fate that put you in positions like this. All you can do, I suppose, is keep looking for the opportunities, entering the competitions even when you feel you don’t stand a chance, keep writing writing writing, and yeah, I guess sometimes you have to flay yourself open and write a book about what you find inside.

I’ll try to keep you updated as things get stranger still.

Poe xx

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He had been guarding the object for a very long time. Long enough, and deep enough, down deep below the groaning, shifting plates of the earth, where the ground beneath his feet was warm to the touch, this hollowed out nest of ash and ancient whispers, he had stood, he had waited. His knuckles had grown large and nobbled, his knees creaked a little more and moved a little less easily. His beard, long since white and wiry, hung in intricate braids, braids knotted with the patience and shaking of arthritic hands, made beautiful by time and only time, this never ending amount of time, that kept him here, withered face flushed with the heat of it, the earth rumbling above and below him as though the angels and the demons were minutes away from all consuming war.

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I am so absolutely delighted to tell you that the author copies for How To Be Autistic arrived today, and they are GORGEOUS. I always wanted HTBA to be a beautiful art object in its own right, and it is. I’m so, so proud of all the hard work everyone has put in to making it as amazing as it is.

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Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

I’m so excited that soon I’ll be able to share HTBA with you all, September 19th really isn’t that far away now! You can preorder it from pretty much anywhere that sells books, international and all. I’m so, so proud of this little book and really hope it can do a lot of good. Thank you for coming with me on this journey.

Books, Uncategorized, Writing

htbainsta

Poe’s voice is confident, moving and often funny, as she reveals to us a very personal account of autism, mental illness, gender and sexual identity.

As we follow Charlotte’s journey through school and college, we become as awestruck by her extraordinary passion for life as by the enormous privations that she must undergo to live it. From food and fandom, to body modification and comic conventions, Charlotte’s experiences through the torments of schooldays and young adulthood leave us with a riot of conflicting emotions: horror, empathy, despair, laugh-out-loud amusement and, most of all, respect. For Charlotte, autism is a fundamental aspect of her identity and art. She addresses her reader in a voice that is direct, sharply clever and ironic. She witnesses her own behaviour with a wry humour as she sympathises with those who care for her, yet all the while challenging the neurotypical narratives of autism as something to be ‘fixed’.

‘I wanted to show the side of autism that you don’t find in books and on Facebook. My story is about survival, fear and, finally, hope. There will be parts that make you want to cover your eyes, but I beg you to read on, because if I can change just one person’s perceptions, if I can help one person with autism feel like they’re less alone, then this will all be worth it.’

Punctuated by her poetry, this is an exuberant, inspiring, life-changing insight into autism from a viewpoint almost entirely missing from public discussion.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Autistic-Charlotte-Amelia-Poe/dp/1912408325/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=how+to+be+autistic&qid=1555582434&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/How-Autistic-Charlotte-Amelia-Poe/dp/1912408325/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=how+to+be+autistic+charlotte+amelia+poe&qid=1555582817&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-autistic/charlotte-amelia-poe/9781912408320

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-to-be-autistic-charlotte-amelia-poe/1130419987?ean=9781912408320

Myriad Editions (publisher): https://myriadeditions.com/books/how-to-be-autistic/

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

I will be the hollow tree

Standing in the forest sunlight dappling through my leaves

My insides exposed for all to see

Yes, I think I like that

 

I will be the beach cave

Drip drop of salt water like sound colouring sight

Stand inside me and ask what made me

Yes, I think I like that

 

I will be the long abandoned burrow

Once home to the woodland’s guardian souls

Half caved in and morning dew damp

Yes, I think I like that

 

I will be this body

Staples digging into flesh

Hospital bed and smell of antiseptic

Yes, I think I like that

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

I haven’t felt safe in over twenty years

That feels strange to admit

There’s a casual acceptance to a lifetime of fears

“Oh, come on, get over it.”

Like,

Maybe I don’t want this but I don’t know the alternative

Like I’ve been blinkered and I can only see straight ahead

It tells me this is the only way to live

“Stay home, stay safe, stay in bed.”

Traitorous to the last I tell myself it’s better

To live a life that’s infinitely lesser

Because I can’t breathe and I want to go home

But what is a home if you still feel alone?

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

I’ve known you all my life

Grown used to the way your skin ripples and twists

How your face looks just like mine

Your claws digging into my throat as you hold me a little too tightly

The way you rub my back as I bend over and spill my guts

Telling me, well, what would be worse?

To survive this or to die?

Until it is easier to not, to not want things, to not want to try

You took and you stole and you filled me with chemicals

And like, people say you should let go of things that hurt you

But darling, what am I without you?

Who could I be?

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

April showers in the morning,

And her voice is slightly off-key as she sings

She drips her wet hair across the bedroom floor

And pulls faces without realising

I love her with her nose scrunched up and brow furrowed,

When it’s just me and her and the rest of the world is simply not allowed in

With weak sunshine peeking through the blinds,

I love her in the hazy light when she’s all soft edges

I watch her, awestruck, every single day

So wonderfully human, my April,

I hope she finds this and keeps it close

(Furthermore, I hope I find her, wherever she is, and keep her closer still.)

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

At night, stars rain

Sleep tight, gentle sigh

Lay down on your side

Your arm tucked close to mine

Outside, black and night

Inside, it’s all right

(So perhaps I don’t dream anymore.)

Breathe in, then out

There’s comfort in coming home

If I close my eyes I can even pretend

That you’re her, and that the world didn’t end.