Friday, 12 October 2018

New Poems Published in The Interpreter's House and Ink Sweat & Tears

I think that poem publications are much like buses in that often there are none for ages and then there are a few at once. Or at least two.

This week, my poem 'Healer' appeared in Ink Sweat & Tears, as part of their National Poetry Day feature (which they have a tradition of turning into National Poetry Week). The next day, my poem 'In Paris' was published in The Interpreter's House, which has just moved to a new online format.

I wrote 'Healer' a couple of years ago when I did a residency with the Poetry School and London Parks & Gardens Trust, in Cleary Garden, a historic public garden in the City of London. Although it was named after Fred Cleary, who campaigned for public spaces in the City, Cleary Garden was originally founded by Joseph Brandis, the subject of the poem. There aren't a lot of details about Brandis (that I'm aware of) but he was a member of the Cordwainers Company, and he did such a good job of transforming that particular bomb site into a garden that the Queen visited in 1949. The theme of this year's National Poetry Day was 'Change', so the poem was perfect for the Ink Sweat & Tears feature.

'In Paris' was written last year, after my last visit to Paris (a weekend meet-up with my brother). I've now been reading Paul Celan for over 20 years, and his importance in my writing and reading life can hardly be over-estimated. I've written a few poems more or less inspired by or dedicated to him, but this is definitely the one I'm happiest with. I always think of Celan in Paris, although, as the poem says, I've never gone as far as Pont Mirabeau (he lived nearby and is presumed to have jumped to his death from that bridge).

Photo: Cleary Garden, London. Taken by Clarissa Aykroyd

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