Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's VINTAGE SEA, my poetry pamphlet, now available to buy from the Calder Wood Press website for a measly £5! Just click on the picture to the right and scroll down to catalogue.

It has been a labour of love which would never have happened if it wasn't for this blog and you readers who have read, encouraged and helped me workshop these poems. So thankyou! :)

Here's what these lovely people have to say about my poems:

'to read marion mccready's poetry is to enter a transformational landscape where the act of seeing is ecstatic and filled with meaning. it is not magical realism but a realism that becomes magical. i highly recommend it.' - morgan downie

'Marion McCready lives on an island which seems to be one giant metaphor. From seascapes and landscapes she creates dreamy, often startling, images, sometimes making a pithy point, sometimes nudging the reader beyond the here and now to a place more mythological and elemental. This is the first collection from a very individual voice.' - Hugh McMillan

'It is rare these days to read a first pamphlet in a voice so sure and well formed and rooted in local knowledge as Marion McCready’s, whose poems come to us drenched in the waves and mists of the Firth of Clyde and the islands off the west coast of Scotland, and yet never fail to remain responsive to the tidal surges of the universal. Whether writing of the natural world of her beloved seashore and rivers, or of the equal mysteries and deeps of love and motherhood, McCready’s poems are always both aware of the spirit and grounded in the here-and-now of a pleasurably physical sense of language as music and of the poem as a shaped and shapely object. Setting out for the islands, McCready advises that we will be able to find her “in another life / among the kittiwakes, the sea pinks, / cormorants feeding their young in my ribcage,” and we, already persuaded, are eager to follow.' - James Owens

The cover photo is by the wonderfully talented photographer / artist, Roxana Ghita. You can view more of her work here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Personal Reflections

With the pamplet due out soon I've been thinking on my 'poetry journey', for want of a better expression. I started this blog back in 2006 as a sideline to my pregnancy blog and as a place to showcase the many little poems that I'd written on and off since I was in my early twenties with the hope that it would spur me on to writing more and better poems. Well it did that! I removed those early posts a couple of years ago when I outgrew them but I remember my first couple of regular blog readers and how important they were to me in keeping me writing when perhaps I wouldn't have. I remember the first poem I had published, which seemed like a minor miracle! And now I'm so happy to have my very own pamphlet coming out. It's been a long process for me but it's always been about the writing, my first poems were total trash and my very first aim was to write a poem I could be proud of. That, in a sense, hasn't changed. I'm always keen to learn how writers write better because I want always to be progressing in my writing. It doesn't matter what stage you're at in writing, the aim, for me, is to get more out of the language, more out of a poem, to be learning always.  This makes writing exciting and a continual challenge, I guess this is what I love about it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Birdbook I: Towns, Parks, Gardens & Woodlands (Sidekick Books)

My contributor's copy arrived this morning and it really is a stunning book. Every poem has a bird drawing opposite it. The art work is superb and so many of the poems are excellent. I can see this being a favourite book of mine. It's the first anthology I've genuinely thought, I'll be buying copies of these as presents for poetry and non-poetry readers alike (plus it's the first poetry collection I've ever actually seen my husband read through from cover to cover!).

Here are some pics from it, the first one is my Crossbill poem with the Crossbill drawing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yes, my pamphlet is now complete and currently at the printers. Colin says he'll be picking it up a week tomorrow. Thanks to Roxana for the use of her wonderful picture, I really can't wait to have it in my hands.
I have a provisional launch date: Saturday 21st May in Glasgow along with the launch of Geoff Cooper's lovely pamphlet Songs The Lightning Sang.

I really am too excited for words, and isn't the cover simply gorgeous??!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An anthology of bird poems and artwork produced by the wonderfully eccentric Sidekick Books. I met Kirstin Irving and Jon Stone, who produce Sidekick Books and are the editors of Fuselit Magazine, at a reading in Edinburgh last year and Kirsten asked me to contribute a poem for the anthology. The book was delayed in coming out but now it's available and I'm so looking forward to receiving my contributor's copy. From what I've seen I'm sure the artwork is going to be stunning, and I expect the poems will be pretty good too! :)
You can read my poem at this link, it's the sample poem on the webpage!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Apart from following a few folks' admirable efforts, I've pretty much ignored the fact that it is NaPoWriMo this month. I've just not had the energy to even contemplate giving it a go so...maybe next year...!

I have had two poems accepted for publication by Ink, Sweat & Tears, an excellent poetry and prose webzine edited by Salt poet Helen Ivory.  They'll be up on the webzine after their Easter feature. Really nice to submit some poems again, I've been afraid of tying my poems up with the pamphlet coming out but it's nice to know that every poem I write now is free from the tyranny of the pamphlet :)

I'm working on a poem as part of an Allen Ginsberg project organised by Claire Askew to mark, what would have been, Ginsberg's 85th birthday on the 3rd of June this year. Beyond a casual glance I've never properly read Ginsberg before (one of the reasons I decided to get involved) so I have my mystery poem which is 'The Bricklayer's Lunch Hour' and I'm exploring which approach to take - concentrate on a particular image or sentence and write from that, or actively explore Ginsberg as the narrator of the scene, or put myself in Ginsberg's shoes and  re-interpret the scene...etc etc.

Friday, April 08, 2011

I've been away the last few days but before I went Colin emailed me a first draft pdf of my pamphlet which I have in front of me, printed out and stapled together. So exciting to see how it's going to look. I'm really happy with the order and poems, a last minute poem thrown in and a couple of weaker ones taken out. I'm feeling confident enough about all of the poems in it now, that is, all twenty-nine of them! I've been enjoying the process of putting the pamphlet together, thinking about font styles and which poems to start and finish with. I also think, with a pamphlet, the centre page poems are really important. It's obviously where a pamphlet naturally falls open so I think it's good to have some eye-catching ones there. Colin's been brilliant, he's done a great job in sorting through my poems, ordering and arranging them, I'm so pleased with it! Also, I'm so happy and excited that Roxana is very kindly letting me use one of her gorgeous images for the cover!!!

Whilst scrolling through facebook earlier I came across a link to an interview with Frieda Hughes on some of her favourite poetry. It's an interesting read as she analyses the work of some of her favourite poets and demonstrates what she looks for and loves in poetry. She also talks a little about her own writing processes and Ted Hughes' advice to her to 'only write for yourself'. I've been thinking, recently, about the role of the reader in the writing of a poem, about what responsibility/ies (if any)  the writer has towards her reader, so it was interesting to read Hughes' advice.

I'm ignoring the urge to re-read Lorca's wonderful play, Blood Wedding, which is sitting in a pile next to my computer. I'm really trying to immerse myself in my (now seven!) chosen poets and stay away from the old favourites. I feel it's doing me good to be focusing on different writers/writing and I'm really enjoying reading, re-reading them and becoming familiar with the poems.