5x4x5x4+1 is a form of "concept" book.
Released in April 2007, it is a small compilation of some of my poems from the previous year when I had a particularly prolific spell of writing. It is the first book I have released with a proper, full colour, glossy cover, and also, a spine (gasp).
The poems of that time could basically be split into two categories. When I first started writing, I for some reason found favour with the format of five verses of four lines. I initially wrote around 20 poems in this format (after quite a long period of not writing anything). I then wrote aboutanother 50 in the same format, before finally deciding I’d done enough of this style, and then just writing without sticking to any format, possibly just trying to write funny stuff. Originally, I had a plan to release two books, one containing all of the 5x4 poems, and one of the rest, but I decided there wasn’t enough quality for there to be two books. So instead, I’m just putting out one book containing 20 of the better 5x4 poems.
Below is the blurb on the back of “5x4x5x4+1”
In December 2005, Nick Fisk took voluntary redundancy from a call centre job, as well as £2500, which he had planned to put towards a round the world trip. However, early in 2006, he began to put pen to paper, and within a couple of days, had written a number of poems all in the format of 5 verses of 4 lines. These he had thought of distributing randomly on the 20th of Febraury (20/2/6) at twenty minutes to six.
Then, the day after his 33⅓rd birthday – February 11th – the day on which, as it happened, Cardiff won 3-0 and Chelsea lost 3-0, and two days before Valentine’s Day, the author was admitted to Whitchurch Hospital, a place not unfamiliar to him. He then proceeded, instead of spending 80 days around the world to spend 80 days around the ward, where he made several new friends, perhaps more than he would have done travelling the world. Also, he continued to write poetry, including writing several more poems of the same form. Of the seventy or so poems written in this format, 20 favourites are contained within this collection.
While the format may be restrictive and disciplined, the author found a fresh, free style of writing, often thought provoking and challenging, as well as sometimes controversial and daring.
The book was launched on 30 April 2007 at The Waterguard pub in Cardiff Bay. It is currently on sale at Wellfield Road bookshop, Cardiff, and online.