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Cover design, check ​

My first book is launching April 30, and this week it's going to print. The cover is finished after many versions! My amazing daughter, Rata Ingram, designed it. It's based on one of the illustrations in the book. YES! the poetry is illustrated! The pic we used for the cover is a reference to Lady Godiva, an ancestor of the protagonist. My graffiti-artist protagonist admires Godiva because she is someone who was prepared to (literally) expose herself to help people out of their terrible living conditions.

The cover is meant to attract readers as well as give a clue as to what the book is about. When I researched trends in covers, I discovered the colours for 2019 are ... drumroll ... pink and orange. What do you think, Rata gave my horse a pink mane! Collage-style covers continue to be pretty hot too. That made me happy. For this book, my poetry juxtaposes a variety of discourse that shapes the graffiti artist's life and I think the collage-type effects of line drawing on brick wall mimic this. As to matching the cover with its contents, my novella-in-poetry is about an artist and mother, who turns to graffiti in an act of love, desperation as well as protest for her home city of Christchurch, which is in turmoil after the earthquakes. Rata's interpretation is stunning — my modern-day Godiva as feisty graffiti artist.

The back cover includes three commendations. It is in equal parts thrilling and scary to approach poets you admire, ask them to read your manuscript and write a blurb about it, then await the response. How generous and wonderful all of them were. I'm very grateful and humbled by their responses.

Years after the Christchurch earthquakes, the breakages continue. A young physics student is falling apart. His mother takes to the streets at night, tagging her rage and anguish onto the city’s walls. Their story is raw, painful, brave and at times strangely hilarious. Language is shattered in these pages, street art conjures up the nightmares. There’s energy to burn here. Many will feel a tug of recognition as they read. It’s all part of our shared history. Bernadette Hall

Gail Ingram has pulled off something special here. The collection offers a freshness of style and vision. The poems are packed with original, vivid imagery, often visually striking and, to my ear, pitch perfect. They accrue narrative power as the collection progresses. The sequence explores themes of connection and disconnection, subtly advocates for the place of art and language in witnessing the effects of trauma and in providing routes to recovery. Sue Wootton

A great strength of Gail Ingram’s moving collection is how it fractures narrative discourse and syntax to mirror the fault lines running through both the city and family life. Gail pays careful attention to craft with memorable and transformative perceptual images, which take us from "the floating / hammer of the Southern Alps” to “a weed scratching sounds in the wind”. Bryan Walpert

I hope you like the cover as much as I do, and that the poetry lives up to it! You'll have to read it and let me know ;)

***You can order Contents Under Pressure here***

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