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Following the release of her first poetry EP Slip Of The Tongue in 2020, A Lick and a Promise will contain 100 poems by the famed Irish artist.
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’, the powerful poem that was written in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and used by the Rethink Ireland campaign.
May says 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.”

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