Nikki Dudley is managing editor of streetcake magazine and also runs the streetcake writing prize and MumWrite. She has a chapbook and collection with KFS. She is the winner of the Virginia Prize 2020 and her second novel, Volta was published in May 2021.
Introduction to I’d Better Let You Go
This collection is more personal than a lot of the stuff I normally write, at least overtly. My nan passed away in 2014 and for some reason, I finally felt ready to talk about it and of course, I did it via writing because it’s the way I process the world.
There’s a mixture of visual poetry, more lyrical poetry, creative non-fiction and hybrid forms in here. When I sat down to write about dementia, the chaos of forms felt kind of fitting. The mixture of styles felt right for me to explore such a challenging, confusing, and often heart-breaking condition. I couldn’t help including some more experimental/visual work because I have a real passion for it but it also lent itself perfectly to the theme and the examination of a person’s life, family and mind falling apart.
Words of Praise for I'd Better Let You Go "Vacillating between poetic prose and originally experimental verse, Nikki Dudley's 'I'd better let you go' perfectly captures the nuances of loving someone suffering from dementia. The experimental poems smartly enact the slippage of mind - comprehension lies always just out of reach, words falling away or kept behind bars, sudden interruptions appear as concentration fades - while immediate confessional poems starkly paint a tender picture of living with the disease. For all the melancholy throughout this pamphlet, its central theme is one of love: Dudley's words extend a hug of comfort to anyone suffering from - and anyone who loves someone who suffers from - dementia. A vital read for its thematic content and poetry alike." Teo Eve, poet and fiction writer "Nikki Dudley has created a literary platter of delicious delights, blending prose and poetry, pushing the boundaries of experimental writing to create a chapbook brimming with emotion which on every page asks the question: how to be human when what makes us human is incrementally being stripped away? ‘I'd better let you go' is a feast for the eyes, heart and soul." Laura Besley, author of 100neHundred