For a long time now, Lana Del Rey has been talking about releasing Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass, a book of poetry and an accompanying spoken-word album. Del Rey first mentioned the idea of a poetry book early in 2019. It’s gone through different permutations. At various points, Del Rey said that she was going to hand-bind copies of the book and deliver it to local bookstores, or that she was going to sell the book for a dollar. Neither one of those is happening. The details are now out, and it looks like Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass will be a relatively conventional project — that is, if a pop star publishing a book of poetry can ever be said to be a conventional project. The book itself won’t be out until September, but the spoken-word audiobook, which will feature Del Rey reading over music from her friend and collaborator Jack Antonoff, is coming out later this month.
Yesterday, Del Rey posted an Instagram promising that the details of Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass soon. The cover art, it emerged, would be the same thing that Del Rey tweeted and deleted in April. Today, as The FADER points out, Amazon and Waterstones have published product listings for the album and the book. Per Waterstones, the 112-page hardcover book is coming 9/29 via Simon & Schuster. And per Amazon, the 33-minute album, which is being sold as an audiobook, is out 7/28.
On those listings sites, there’s a statement from Del Rey:
Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass is the title poem of the book and the first poem I wrote of many. Some of which came to me in their entirety, which I dictated and then typed out, and some that I worked laboriously picking apart each word to make the perfect poem. They are eclectic and honest and not trying to be anything other than what they are and for that reason I’m proud of them, especially because the spirit in which they were written was very authentic.
According to that listings page, the album will feature some of these poems: “LA Who Am I To Love You?,” “The Land Of 1,000 Fires,” “Past The Bushes Cypress Thriving,” “Never To Heaven,” “Tessa DiPietro,” and “Happy.” The book itself will feature Del Rey’s typewritten manuscript pages and original photography. In that Instagram post, she talks about the Navajo Water Project, the nonprofit that the book will presumably benefit.
Back in May, Del Rey shared “patent leather do-over,” a spoken-word poem, which she says is from her second book behind the iron gates — insights from an institution, which will apparently come out next March.