Faber Music is to publish A Lick and a Promise, the "evocative" debut poetry collection by Irish singer and songwriter Imelda May.
Following the release of her first poetry EP "Slip of the Tongue" in 2020, A Lick and a Promise will feature 100 poems by the artist.
The synopsis explains: "Using the themes of Breast, Below, Blood, Eyes, Tongue and Temple, the poems are written in May’s absorbing, visceral style and encapsulate heartbreak, sex, nature and womanhood."
Included in the collection will be "You Don’t Get to be Racist and Irish", a poem that was written in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and used by the Rethink Ireland campaign for its Equality Fund, which aims to offer financial aid to organisations supporting marginalised voices.
Born and raised in The Liberties area of Dublin, May has become one of Ireland’s most celebrated female artists. Her 2008 self-written and produced album "Love Tattoo" is the bestselling album of all time by a homegrown female artist in Ireland, according to the publisher, and her most recent album “11 Past the Hour” marks her fourth number one album in Ireland and fourth top-10 record in the UK.
She was discovered by Jools Holland, who asked her to support him on tour, and has gone on to perform alongside legendary artists including Lou Reed, Bono, Tom Jones, Noel Gallagher, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and Smokey Robinson. She has also co-hosted BBC’s "Later with Jools Holland" and presented her own series “The Imelda May Show” for RTE Ireland in 2018. This year saw her shoot her first major film role, opposite James Purefoy in “Fisherman Friends 2”, due for theatrical release in 2022, and she will present the Sky Arts literary travelogue series “The Voices of Ireland”, airing later this year.
May said of her poetry: “Poetry is good for my soul and fills my heart and mind with colour and scent. It’s intoxicating. I dive into my beloved books and my days are infinitely better for that. One poem can stay a lifetime, one line can change a view. I hope my writing gives to others what inspiration gives to me. I write incessantly and honestly, which helps me make sense of life and take a moment to ponder on it. Poetry gives me the freedom to do that, and I hope the reader sees themself in my words and in my world. 'A Lick and a Promise' is how my mother described a hurried wash and it’s often how I read poetry when time is scarce. I tease in and out of my delicious books, promising them I’ll be back for more. I’m truly honoured to be a part of the illustrious Faber Music family.”
Lucy Holliday, head of pop publishing at Faber Music, acquired world rights from Adrian Sington at Kruger Cowne Rights. Holliday said: “It’s been an absolute joy to work with Imelda on her debut poetry collection. Her writing is so absorbing, rhythmic and evocative; I feel a door has been opened just a little, to allow a glimpse into Imelda’s sensual world.”
A Lick and a Promise will be published on 28th October.