Yesterday I managed to put together the new poetry anthology. It’s an overtly Bardic/Druidy bit of work, unshockingy, and it’s now on the books page as a free pdf download. http://druidlife.wordpress.com/books/ If you missed the first freebie book, that’s also on there – Lost Bards and Dreamers, so do pick up both if you haven’t.
There isn’t a huge paying market for poetry. I think there may be a number of reasons for this – the book market in general isn’t thriving, and poetry was always at the quiet end anyway, until you get back to the likes of Byron and Tennyson who apparently could shift copies. I think this is a bit self perpetuating – people don’t read poetry because aside from the old classics, it mostly isn’t there to buy in the first place, it isn’t much talked about either. ‘Poetry’ so often means the scribbling of angst laden teens, or the trite rhyming glops you get in greetings cards. Neither of those tend to advertise poetry as a thing you might want to engage with. I had a lot of good feedback about the first collection, so am offering this one in the same way, as an expression of my Druidry, freely shared.
What I’m inviting you to do is to own (electronically) and read a poetry collection. For free. Just to see how you get on. I figure if more poetry gets read, then the odds of poetry becoming something people will pay money for, increases.
Beyond the Map was created over about three years of enormous upheaval in my life, as my first marriage broke down entirely, my relationship with Tom went from impossible dream to tangible reality, I returned to the landscape of my childhood… so many things changed for me. I’ve been through a total reimagining of self. Several of the journeys involved in the collection I’m going to talk about over the next couple of days, there being enough to say to make individual blog posts worthwhile.
Poetry is an amazing focus for so many things. Fiona Tinker has written a fabulous book on how to use it for pathworking. Poetry as protest, as evocation, or curse are also considerations. The poetry teacher who most influenced me, Dave Ashbee, used to say that it’s not enough to bleed onto the page, you have to scrape it up and turn it into something. Out of pain can come incredible beauty. Out of suffering comes meaning and insight, and poetry can crystallize these things into the clearest, most intense forms.
On the poetry side, I have varied influences. E e cummings and Mary Oliver, the metaphysical poets, especially George Herbert’s religious work. Blake, a whole host of strange, impressionist poets from 20th century America, read in ones and twos, startling and bright. Last but by no means least, Kevan Manwaring and Robin Herne, who personify the modern Bard tradition for me, and whose writing I love.
Cover art is the work of my lovely Tom, and represents a crane. Not so many years ago I was singing Damh the bard’s song with the chorus ‘The crane the wolf, the bear and the boar no longer dwell upon these shores…’ the boar are back, and the reintroduction of cranes has been a huge source of hope and inspiration for me. All things can change.
There’s a paper version if you do have the urge to buy a hardcopy, along with Lost Bards and Dreamers http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/NimueBrown