"A straight woman, a Gay man and a Chinese child. Our family couldn't have existed 30 years ago.In 1997 my friend Judy Jones adopted a girl from China; she asked me to be the child's godfather and I accepted. It was a fairly unsettled time in my life; I was uncertain about where I was going to live due to unsettling events. I moved in with Judy and Shen, temporarily; but then I just stayed.Every now and again, I'd write poems about Shen and our life, from 1997 till the summer of 2016 when I began working on revisions. It wasn't until we went to China with Shen was 12 (2008), and visited the Orphanage where Shen spent the first year of life, that I began to think of the poems in terms of a book. A health scare in 2014 (I ended up spending four days in hospital, and Shen came every night and just sat in the room doing her homework until visiting hours were over) that I realized I needed to make some order out the manuscript."I had kept a journal while in China and when we had some down time in Shanghai I started to write poems about our trip. The first of the "travel" poems was "The Beautiful Ladies Of The Tang Dynasty." The first drafts of the poems happened while China was still very fresh in my memory; and I also had the journal as a source to turn to. And then, when Shen went off to York University to study music, and Judy and I were facing the "empty nest" (this was Fall 2014), I wrote a couple of pieces about that feeling you have when your child leaves home, and I knew then that the book was finished. Stan Dragland, who was the supervisor for my Master's thesis on Gwendolyn McEwan, read here in London. I read his new book and as his address was in one of the essays, I sent the manuscript off to him, not realizing at the time that his was also the address of Pedlar Press."