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Announcing My Final Poetry Mixtape Book
Pre-Order The Music Was Just Getting Good Today
The Final Chapter! This is it – the last poetry book in the mixtape series. ‘The Music Was Just Getting Good’ is now available for pre-order. It will be released on January 9.
In these pages, I've returned to the themes you expect to see from me: mental health, hope, and grief. Grief isn't confined to death alone. We grieve for who we used to be, for moments that never found their way into existence, for the physical places that hold our memories, and most profoundly, for our people. People who've departed earth, but also those who walked away and those we had to let go. It's a profound exploration of the multifaceted nature of loss and transformation.
As I share this final poetic mixtape, I reflect on our journey together through words. I'm filled with gratitude for your support over the last nearly 10 years. We’ve found strength in each other's stories.
With that at the top of my heart and mind today, I want to share the story behind the title of this book.
I always knew I was going to write a third and final “mixtape.” After the success of Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately and Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back, it just felt right to make a third and final installment. I’ve always liked the idea of “trilogies.”
But, as Eminem once explained better than I ever could:
“There's a certain feelin' you get
When you real and you spit, and people are feelin' your sh-t
This is your moment, and every single minute you spend
Tryna hold on to it, 'cause you may never get it again
So while you're in it, try to get as much sh-t as you can
And when your run is over, just admit when it's at its end.”
But WOW - it’s FUN putting these books together. And I will miss the process the most.
For those who may not know, these poetic “mixtapes” are all structured the same. Each book has 92 poems (Side A) and 92 blackout poems (Side B: erasure poetry created from the poems in Side A). Each poem is paired with an accompanying song, and I’ve created a Spotify Playlist for you so you don’t have to (not yet available, but soon!).
All that to say, these books of mine are an EXPERIENCE.
I definitely took my time, drafting slowly; even before Sorry I Haven’t Texted You Back was released, I was writing this third book. I began in March 2020 and submitted the manuscript in April 2023.
Most of the time I was writing, I did NOT have a title in mind.
Then, in May of 2022, my aunt died a mere few months after being diagnosed with a terrible, incurable brain cancer.
My Aunt Cindi was cool. I enjoyed being around her. She was my cousin Jess’ mom. And for anyone who might not know, my cousin Jess died in 2006 when she was 19. My aunt was never the same after that, and I like to think they are together again.
I've spent a great deal of time reflecting on the fact that my aunt and I shared many memories with Jess – it was often the three of us. Suddenly, I find myself as the sole survivor entrusted with preserving those moments we shared. I became the keeper of our memories and felt an overwhelming fear that I might forget them, particularly now that my aunt wasn't here to help me recall them.
As the designated “writer of the family,” I was asked to write a custom poem for my aunt’s prayer card. That poem is now the final poem in this new book. And it is where the title of the book came from.
By Alicia Cook
How dare you, "Time"
for running out
when we weren't looking.
In the middle of a smile—
in the midst of a sigh.
How dare you, "Time"
for continuing on forever
but not letting us do the same.
We were so happy here, all together—
the music was just getting good.
No matter our grief,
we must thank you, "Time"
for gifting us what you were able.
there will never be enough
of you to go around.
"The Music Was Just Getting Good" serves as a title that encapsulates the themes of the fleeting nature of time and grief and the decision to end the series on a high note…before you are all sick of me!
If you made it this far down the newsletter, I want to thank you for staying. But there you have it! That’s the story behind the title of my new book.
Pre-order your copy of The Music Was Just Getting Good today because pre-orders are SO IMPORTANT to a book’s overall success, and I’d like to close this chapter of my life on a HIGH NOTE 😊
More soon, Alicia