Tom Waits to publish poetry book

'Hard Ground' will be the singer's debut in print

Tom Waits is set to publish a book of poetry in March next year.

The book, entitled Hard Ground, is a collaboration with photographer Michael O’Brien and will feature photographs of the homeless accompanied by Waits‘ poems.

The book is described by as a portrait of homelessness combining Waits‘ words with images of people who “live on the hard ground”.

Although he has released over 20 albums and appeared in many films, Waits has yet to publish any literature and has spoken in the past of his dislike of being labelled as a poet rather than a musician. He remarked in a 1975 interview that he believes “poetry is a very dangerous word”, adding: “I don’t like the stigma that comes with being called a poet.”

The book is set to be modelled on 1941 classic Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. Much like Waits and O’Brien’s offering, it is a collection of photographs accompanied by poetry, but featured the downtrodden farmers of Depression-era America.

This is not the first time that Waits and O’Brien have worked together. O’Brien has photographed Waits throughout his career and took the cover photograph for his most recent release, ‘Glitter And Doom Live’.

Hard Ground will be published in March 2011 by University Of Texas Press.