04. The Cover

Plus, interview on Burning Eye Podcast and upcoming Bristol Literary Festival gig

A lot of people have told me they really like the cover for Meanwhile, as it’s really outstanding and colourful. So thank you. I made it myself.

Initially, I was going to let Clive Birnie from Burning Eye Books do something based on a very early idea, as he usually makes the covers and he’s really good at it. Then, I started thinking “wait a minute, Cyn, you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and you have made stuff before, haven’t you”, so I accepted my own challenge and chose to make it instead. Really good timing, since Clive got COVID and I would have felt horrible to make him go through extra work.

Following his guidance, I used a surface twice as big as the book to make sure that the tiniest details could be captured in high definition. I recycled cardboard from some clothing package or something — save the turtles, sksksksks.

Here they are next to each other, OG and reproduction:

Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.

Collage is usually my thing, as it can summarise different concepts, thoughts and moods as portrayed in the writing. I used things like magazines, unused planner patterns, medicine slips, food packaging, wrapping paper, washi tape, nail stickers, a cheeky Polaroid selfie, all glued up together and protected with Mod Podge, with some added colouring, writing and drawing made with Posca pens.

Once it was dry, I scanned the work and processed it on Canva. I changed the background colour to Philippine Red and added the title in white letters on Cadmium Green. Easter Egg: these three colours are part of the Mexican flag. One day I’ll write about Mexico, mestizaje and liminality, but not now.

On the next letter, I will talk about the inside artwork, made more or less using similar techniques.

Interview on Burning Eye Podcast

Last week, I spoke on Zoom with Bridget Hart for Burning Eye Podcast. It was really cute. We talked about the autumn, cacti, performing poetry at DIY punk gigs, joining a writers union (note to self: do it now) and the pros and cons of poetry podcasting. So meta. Also, I read “I Want to Believe in Myself as Much as I believe in My Plants” from the book. You can listen here or wherever you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and check out their catalogue, because my peers are great:

Bristol Literary Festival

On the podcast, I talk about how much I miss the rapport with the audience at gigs. But for now, for our wellbeing, video shows will have to do.

I’m performing this Friday 23rd October 2020, 7:30pm BST, at Bristol Literary Festival, representing Burning Eye Books, along the fabulous Pauline Sewards and Rick Dove. It’s free, but you will need to register to gain access to the Zoom room. I came to the UK ten years ago via a University of Bristol MA in History of Art (yes… I love studying… so… much… *rolleyes*) and Bristol occupies a big chunk of my heart. Take this as an I.O.U., because I will definitely find a way to perform there again and in person when we all can do it.

Rick Dove, Pauline Sewards and myself.

Anyway, I’m off to have some tea/dinner/supper/cenita.

Cheep cheep,
Cynthia Rodríguez Juárez