Books, Uncategorized, Writing

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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/

Books, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing

I’m really excited to announce that my first published book, a memoir called How To Be Autistic, is available to pre-order now! It’s the story of my life, growing up with autism and not being diagnosed, how hard that was and how it shaped me as a person – anxiety, depression and trauma, it’s a completely honest account of my experiences and honestly, I’m so proud of it. The cover isn’t quite ready yet, but there’s a brief summary on Amazon (I think this is subject to change, as it’s still early days).

Pre-ordering helps in so many ways, from helping my first week of sales, to letting the publisher know there’s interest in the book and also book stores, stuff like that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been affected by autism in your life, this book is an attempt to bridge the gap between autistic and neurotypical people, and is more of a conversation than anything else.

It’s about hope, more than anything.

If you have any questions about the book before pre-ordering, or if you want to let me know you have pre-ordered it, feel free to leave me a message on curiouscat – it’s 100% anonymous.

I’ll keep you updated with any news I receive, and the release date is September 17th, this year.

So I guess I’ll leave you with the Amazon links! Thanks so much for supporting my blog and for the follows, your support has helped me grow as a writer and I couldn’t have written this book without you.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Autistic-Charlotte-Amelia-Poe/dp/1912408325/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550239205&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+be+autistic

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/How-Autistic-Charlotte-Amelia-Poe/dp/1912408325/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=how+to+be+autistic&qid=1550239432&s=gateway&sr=8-6

(Also available in other countries, just type in ‘How To Be Autistic’, I don’t know all the different Amazon sites or I’d link them all!)

Thanks so much,

Poe xx

Art, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

I’ve printed a few poems on beautiful grey handmade cotton rag paper, and put them in my etsy store. I’m really interested in making art accessible to everyone, so they’re priced very cheaply, not because they aren’t worth anything, but because I think everyone should be able to afford art.

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If you’re interested in purchasing a poem or two, or would like to pick up one of the last copies of my zine, my etsy is https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheSeldomSeenFox

– Poe xx

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

What is a wasteland,
But a place where no-one’s home?
There is dust on my shoulders
Scum on my teeth
And death in the air
Soft on the breeze

What is a bomb site,
But a place where no-one’s home?
There is blood on my brow
And stark white broken bone
Broken glass from the mirror above the hearth
Broken heart beats broken heart

What is wilderness,
But a place where no-one’s home?
There is dirt between my toes
And mud in my eyelashes
I wash my hands in the river but they never come clean
The forest is a promise is a measure of a means

What is a body,
But a place where no-one’s home?
There is a gap between my fingers were yours should be
And a sense memory of warmth that shivers cold frigid colder
Bruises on my hips fade green blue yellow gone
And like a watercolour painting left out in the rain
I run and I run and I run

(This house isn’t a home without you.)

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

this is a place
where gossip spreads
where the neighbours are angry
and where cobwebs sweep the top of your head

this is a place
in permanent autumn
with the yellowing crops
the farmer has forgotten

this is a place
with one pub too many
too many drunkards
and bets placed with pennies

this is a place
where nobody lives
the postman gets lost
and we give up on gifts

this is a place
where i cannot find peace
in a deafening silence
and the honking of geese

this is a place
where friends do not visit
the cost of cars repaired
and “it’s not worth it, is it?”

this is a place
i long to escape
but where would i go?
these roots sunk in deep,
this place is a prison
this kingdom of field
and the world half asleep
(i yield, i yield, i yield)

this is a place
i try to tempt you to be
like a siren on the rocks
it’s too late for me.

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

i knew a boy
with calluses on his hands
from heavy work and drunken fights
from sweat drenched days and less than holy nights
(he told me he loved me as i wiped away blood, and it felt like remorse)

they sent him off to war, you see
i wondered if they’d come for me
they never did and he never wrote
and my life moved on in factory rote
(he told me he loved me before he left, and it felt like a eulogy)

i knew a boy
who kissed me ’til my lips were bruised
there was a scar neatly tucked between his ribs
and sinful certainty as his hands slid past my hips
(he told me he loved me in that moment, and it felt like a prayer)

he came back from the war, you see
i wondered what he’d think of me
his eyes were bruised from the inside out
and there were things he’d never talk about
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, his eyes darting away)

they made him a soldier when i knew him as a boy –
they made him a killer when i knew him as a lover –
he taught me to love and they taught him destroy –
he taught me his skin and they gave him memories that smother;
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, in fact, he didn’t say much at all)

i knew a boy
(i knew a boy)
he went away and came back a man
and i wonder what the cost of that was
what kind of scales can weigh a soul
and how heavy is my debt
for not following in his footsteps
(he didn’t tell me he loved me, and i wondered if this was his anger)

i knew a boy
and he knew me too
and i hope one day
when whimpered nightmares begin to fade
i’ll know him again
and he’ll know me too
and he’ll be a boy again
and we’ll wash the war away
in a tin bath, lukewarm water
toothpaste kisses, damp hair
until then –
(i’ll love him enough for the both of us
until the words don’t burn on his tongue any more.)

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

we are very small
objectively, this is true
there are moons and planets and stars
much, much bigger than us

there is a gravity to a soul
a gravity to being
to looking into another’s eyes,
and really seeing

we orbit like satellites, and
we hope our paths will cross someday
as we beep boop our way across
the solar system so wide

we took our first breath at the same time
as the universe breathed hers
we are the mixed up children of the cosmos
our star stuff echoing in our eyes

we are very small
objectively, this is true
there are moons and planets and stars
much, much bigger than us

(but you make me feel –
– like i am floating in space;
– that the stars were placed there for me,
and for you, to stare at together;
– like the universe thrums in your veins,
and the echo of her song comes out in your words,
and i am eternal, we are eternal, and time –
time is the universe taking a breath,
as she steadies our hearts to beat in sync)

Travel, Uncategorized

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what can i say about this that hasn’t been said more eloquently by people much smarter than me? arriving in the room, with the smoke and the haze which felt like an old bookshop with the dust slightly disturbed, it felt like it was supposed to, if that makes sense. we weren’t allowed to take photos during the concert, so that’s why i only have the three. i admit i don’t know anything about classical music, and this is the first orchestra i’ve ever seen perform, so at times i was lost, and at times a little bored (which i can only apologise for). there were moments of pure beauty, refrains that just, if i could play them on repeat i would never get sick of them. there were moments where the music turned to something more brutal, the idea to invoke anxiety and the feelings it causes. the whole premise of the concert was to address anxiety and trauma, and the leaflets left on seats even mentioned that should you feel it was all too much, to call an usher and there would be a quiet room. i didn’t see anyone leave, but my eyes were fixed to the stage, not really looking around. the audience clapped after the first three lethargies, but after that things bled more into one another and it was hard to tell where one started and another ended. the ending of the concert itself was abrupt and unexpected, it seemed both that it had gone on for hours and that no time had passed at all. there was a standing ovation that went on for ages, and then keaton arrived on stage and the crowd went absolutely wild. one person (and i love whoever this was) shouted out ‘we love you keaton’, echoing the thoughts of everyone in the room. keaton left, but the standing ovation continued, so out he came again (and i can’t imagine how much that took for him, given his anxiety) and he was there for mere seconds, but to see him, to know he actually exists and isn’t some kind of collective hallucination producing such beautiful music, was amazing, and it was an honour to just be able to realise that this amazing bambi-gangly man was real and that his work had been realised.

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afterwards, we sat outside the barbican and the night was warm and the lakes and pools were surrounded by people talking about what they’d seen and heard. it was nice to find people who listened to him, because, as the booklet i bought about the concert said, his fans tend to carry the same anxieties he does, so i think it’s fair to say, some of us don’t get out much. he’d brought us together and created something beautiful and shared.

if this tours, and i think it’s supposed to, i’d really recommend seeing it. i would warn for people with epilepsy or sensitivity to flashing lights, during the third movement the lights strobe dramatically and as i was struggling with a migraine i had to cover my eyes as it was, so for someone who is triggered by flashing lights it would be probably quite dangerous. that was the only bit i really didn’t like, but other than that, i would love to have it as a record, to play in the background as i do other things, because i did notice that about myself, as much as i tried to pay attention to the stage, i did find myself drifting, maybe because i do spend so much of my time listening to music whilst doing other things, whether it’s reading or writing or just browsing the internet. i’ve managed to program my brain into some kind of hyperactive beast, unable to focus on one thing at a time. in total, it was only an hour and a half long, and was definitely worth the trip to london. i feel honoured to have seen it, and so lucky to have seen keaton, and to see his work come to fruition.

whatever he does next, i’m sure it’s going to be even more amazing.

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