Mail from Across the Pond: “Hands & Wings” and other collections …

booksSometimes a package arrives that is like a party in the mailbox. Often it’s a poetry party, especially the one that just arrived from Anne Stewart‘s poetry p f. The site is affiliated with Second Light Network of Women Poets. There are no gender or age restrictions at poetry p f, which is now a go-to resource for me when I want to buy the collections of U.K. poets.

“The site is principally intended to be a showcase of modern poets, and to provide a focused point for members to take advantage of the visibility and searchable presence the Internet provides; further to promote poets and poetry.” MORE

cardsMy recent acquisitions from across the pond include Anne Cluysenaar‘s Touching Distances, Diary Poems (Cinnamon Press, 2014), which was a gift from Myra Schneider and my own purchases: Janus (Oversteps Books, 2010) by Anne Stewart and Dilys Wood‘s novel-length poem, Antarctica. Wow! . . . and all the lovely poetry cards, some purchased and some gifted … so much better than Hallmark. These include Horses by poet and blogger, Carolyn O’Connell.

TIP FOR POETS: Poetry greeting cards are a nice idea some might like to borrow for promoting their own chapbooks and so forth. Myra Schneider first introduced me to this idea, which I have used. Myra’s are works of art. Mine, not so much.  Not yet anyway. Can’t seem to get them lined up properly.

Hands & WingsDilys Wood and Anne Stewart added a collection to my package, which deserves special attention: Hands & Wings, Poems for Freedom from Torture (White Rat Press, 2015).  The poems in it are freely shared by A-list poets. The proceeds go to help with the rehabilitation and support of torture victims seeking protection in the U.K. That made me look into what services specificially designed for victims of torture might be available in other countries and that readers might want to support through donations or volunteer work. You may find your country’s offerings listed HERE.

Hands & Wings, Poems for Freedom from Torture was produced by Freedom from Torture, Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture, a registered charity in the U.K.

© 2016, words and photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved


“ARTEMISpoetry” and the gift of Pascale Petit

Pascale Petit (b. 1953), London-based poet and artist
Pascale Petit (b. 1953), London-based poet and artist

“To visit you Father, I wear a mask of fire ants.
When I sit waiting for you to explain . . .”
Self-Portrait with Fire Ants by Pascale Petit in The Zoo Father

I’ve been sitting on three reviews, not for any other reason than the want of time and breath to finalize them.

One review (coming soon) is of the latest issue of ARTEMISpoetry, a publication of Second Light Network. As always I am struck by the many gifts bequeathed to us by that association and publication, not the least being introductions to poets who may be new to us. In the latest issue, I know that one featured poet whose collections I must read is Pascale Petit.

Petit, a poet, artist and one-time sculptor, was interviewed in this issue of ArtemisPoetry by Adele Ward, the co-owner of Ward Wood Publishing and a poet and writer herself.

Petit has five published collections of poetry, the latest is What the Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo, which was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Wales Book of the Year. There are a number of things that are drawing me to Pascale Petit’s work, not the least is this creation of a collection of poems after Frida Kahlo’s art. The very idea is attractive.

Unknown-4I am also drawn to The Zoo Father in which she developes the very private theme of child abuse. I believe such efforts require extraordinary grace and I want to see how Petit handles the matter.

Another attraction is related to my own arts community.There are some who argue against revealing too much that is personal and Adele Ward asks Petit about this very issue. Petit’s response is:

” . . . I don’t have a choice about my subject matter . . . It is important to me to be true to myself and write intensely because what I’m really interested in is writing about the awe and power of nature ~ human nature as well as animals and landscape. My personal themes allow me a way in to write intensely about awe and shock. Life is pretty shocking, the earth is awe-inspiring, and we perceive it as personal beings, however ‘other’ it is, and its otherness is compelling.” [Emphasis mine.]

I so agree … and honoring our personal themes is a ticket to ride, an antidote to stilted works and artistic blocks.

Further, I think one goal of art – both its creation and its consumption – is to introduce us to our own humanity. I don’t see how we can do that if the works we create and consume lack intimacy.

Petit’s sixth collection, Fauverie, will launch in September this year. You can sample her poems and her art by visiting her website HERE.

A review of What Water Gave Me: Poems after Frida Kahlo is HERE.

Learn more about Second Light Network HERE.

© 2014, words, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved; photograph by Kitty Sullivan under CC A-SA 3.0 License; cover art, Seren