Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department,  has arrived … and it’s an anthology. While fans only learned about the project in February 2024, it had secretly been in the works for a few years and became very important to the pop star. Taylor made her passion for TTPD clear whenever she spoke about the album, which occurred a few times in the months leading up to its release.

When Did Taylor Swift Announce ‘The Tortured Poets Department’?

Taylor first introduced The Tortured Poets Department to the world at the 2024 Grammys on February 4 during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album.

“OK. This is my 13th Grammy. Which is my lucky number, I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that,” she said. “I wanna say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand new album comes out April 19. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department.”

She concluded, “I’m gonna go and post the cover right now backstage. Thank you, I love you, thank you.”

Like clockwork, a post from Taylor immediately appeared on her social media featuring the album art, a black and white photo of the singer lying in bed in black underwear. “All’s fair in love and poetry…” she wrote in the caption.

Who Is Your Favorite Collaborator on Taylor Swift’s TTPD?

The post also included a handwritten note from “The Chairman of The Tortured Poets Department” herself. “And so I enter into evidence my tarnished coat of arms. My muses, acquired like bruises, my talismans and charms. The tick, tick, tick of love bombs. My veins of pitch black ink,” the note read. “All’s fair in love and poetry.”

Taylor Swift Started Working on ‘TTPD’ Right After ‘Midnights’

While performing an Eras tour concert in Japan on February 7, 2024, Taylor told her fans that she started working on The Tortured Poets Department “right after” she turned in her 10th album, Midnights. She added that albums are turned in “months in advance,” which gave her time to write songs for TTPD before Midnights was released.

“I’ve been working on it for about two years,” she said. “I kept working on it throughout the U.S. tour and when it was perfect, in my opinion … when it was good enough for you … I finished it. And I am so excited that soon you’ll get to hear it. Soon we’ll get to experience it together.”

Taylor Swift Called ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ a ‘Lifeline’

Days later, during a show in Melbourne, Australia, Taylor expressed how important the album was to her, calling it a “lifeline.”

“I needed to make it,” she told her fans on February 16, 2024. “It sort of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through life and I’ve never had an album where I’ve needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets.”

Taylor Swift Claims ‘Temporary Insanity’ Amid ‘TTPD’ Release

In the liner notes included with the physical copy of TTPD, fans found a letter written by Taylor titled “Summary Poem by Taylor Swift.” In the emotional poem, the “Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department” described being “struck with a case of restricted humanity,” which led to her plea of “temporary insanity.”

“‘In summation, it was not a love affair!’ I screamed while bringing my fists to my coffee ringed desk,” she continued. “It was a mutual manic phase. It was self harm. It was house and then cardiac arrest.”

As the album dropped on streaming services worldwide, Taylor took to Instagram to inform fans that the songs “reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time.”

“This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted,” she continued. “This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.”

She concluded, “And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.”