The Expat Poet: The Journey Begins

I’ve just officially announced my last performance in the United States. On August 24th, I’ll be part of a live show in Princeton at Cafe Improv. If any of my readers or poet friends are anywhere in that vicinity I’d love to see you!

As of the first week in September, I will be leaving the country and headed to North Wales to start a new life. Some of you that know me know that I’ve spent the last five years in a long distance relationship and I’ve been diligently planning for this day! It’s not the first time I’ve lived in another country. I worked in Canada for a couple of years and had a wonderful experience there. But, this will be the first time I’ve made a permanent life change. So many changes are happening at once that sometimes I feel like I’m not fully grounded. For now, I’m just going to go with that feeling and enjoy a bit of floating.

Some of the changes include the last of my adult children moving out on their own and leaving my career. I’m not planning to pick my career back up in the United Kingdom. This is a full fledged change and I’m ready to dive into it. Preparing to leave behind corporate America leaves me feeling giddy. I just can’t wait. I’ll still be working, but it will be different. I’ve decided to put myself wholeheartedly into writing poetry and working as an editor. I feel fortunate to have this opportunity. I never imagined seeing myself in this situation. I spent years as a young working mother struggling through life, just trying to get through the day and pay the bills. They didn’t always get paid, I fell behind, I dodged bill collectors— we ate a lot of ramen noodles. I cried a lot. I also put my writing life to the side for so long that I thought I had lost the ability.

A little over two years ago, I hesitantly opened up a document and started to write. It was the best decision I have ever made and I had so much support along the way. The writing community has been fantastic and so has my family. I feel myself growing into a voice that is authentic and powerful. I’m proud of that. I write what I want and I live how I want. Creation is empowering and it’s not something I think I will ever set aside again. I’m 44 years old and just starting to understand who I am, which is exciting.

Wales is a land full of myth and magic. It feels like the perfect place for me to explore creativity. I have a whole host of things going on at the end of this year, beginning with a book tour for my collection, Anatomy of A Dress. I can’t wait to share this collection and share my thoughts about the poetry with readers. It was many years in the making and poetry only came into play toward the very end of that time period. What began with a visit to a fashion exhibit has culminated in this gorgeous little book full of powerful poems. I’m so grateful to The Hedgehog Poetry Press for taking it on and helping me spread the message. Anatomy of A Dress is a feminist fashion show meant to expose misogyny and strip the patriarchy of its power.

Leading up to the tour and release of the book I have a lot of exciting things happening. Through social media campaigns you’ll get to see interesting facts about fashion and feminism, excerpts from the book and even participate in a contest for a giveaway of an annotated copy!

For the next few weeks, I’m a bit flighty. At one point, you’ll be able to apply that to me literally.

Through the blog, I’ll be sharing all of my expat poet adventures with you. Stay tuned for poetry projects, publication notices and some gorgeous photos of Wales.

Thank you for all of your support, readership and encouragement. It truly means the world to me and gives me that extra push to keep going!

Always,

Juliette