Thursday, 2 March 2017

A New Book - Shaping the Water Path

I've not been very good at promoting my work in the past, so I am trying to remedy this. Watching my publisher out of the corner of my eye, seeing all that she does on her blog, her websites (such as keep poems alive) her own books and writing, her publishing, her editing work (Poetry Scotland) her posts on twitter and facebook, her many readings, I am trying to learn. Sally is a true individual, always energetic, encouraging, hospitable (oh yes, there's the Callander Poetry Weekend which she organises and hosts). She is an Aries, bless them all, where would we be without them?

She has published my latest book of poems Shaping the Water Path (Diehard – Sally Evans and Ian King). I'm particularly pleased that they have brought this out as they published my very first book of poems, back in the last century (Deepwater Terminal) and because they are such fine people.

So I spent a lot of time working on these poems and images for the cover, at the end of last year. I had fun with the photographs, placing one over another.  The cover photos were taken by me and Sally made the final design. The larger backdrop one is the sea off the south coast of Crete, and the overlay one is of the performance room in the Art Book Museum, Lodz, Poland (which features in the prose piece the title is taken from). I played around with other possibilities, some of which are below.

The garden at Casterton with bridge over the beck, whose path was reshaped
The background here is the bay of Triopetra on the south coast of Crete, in black and white

Top photo:statue of the poet Julien Tuwim, the bottom one is the outside of the Art Book Museum, all in Lodz, Poland

Along with George Colkitto, whose book The Year of the Loch Diehard has also published, we gave a reading at the Blend Café in Paisley.

The title Shaping the Water Path comes from one of the prose pieces included in the book, written last year at Casterton. I also posted one of the poems here,  Guardians of Sea and Air.  Sally asked me for some local poems so the first section has poems from Scotland and the second, from England, Wales & Ireland.

But there would have to be a section of poems from elsewhere. Travel is always an inspiration for me, and wherever I am I'll write about the landscape either directly or as part of the environment I find myself in. And then there's the people, the fascinating characters you meet, such as Josip in Zagreb's train station, Georgio in Messolonghi, Amira in Carcassonne. Other places included here are Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, Greece, Cyprus, Kosovo and Albania.

George Colkitto reading at the Blend Cafe, Paisley

 Almost all of the poems in the book are recent ones from the past few years. One or two which Sally asked me to include are older, but only recently published – in Every Shade of Blue, which describes my travels with my musician friend John Renbourn. At that time I was immersed in so much wonderful music, it's not surprising that I found some poems coming out like songs. Recently, on a walk by a river I found a tune for one of them Café Impasse and turned it into a song. When I got home I found some chords that – more or less – went with the song, and I sang it at the Blend Café, the first time in many years, since I used to perform with our band Wolf Wind.

This is becoming much too long, so I'll leave a description of the other sections for another post.

And there was more music too from Wullie Purcell, in all a brilliant evening, with the après-reading (talk, wine, music and song) going on long into the night.

Wullie Purcell playing at the Blend cafe. Photo credit: Kathryn Metcalfe

The book is available from Diehard, address here, (or from me, same deal) for £5, (send a cheque) which includes postage. The ethos of this publisher and bookshop is to keep prices low – you can find amazing bargains in their second hand books (and I frequently do). 


Forest Dream Weaver said...


dritanje said...

Thanks Ruby, and for your helpful suggestions
M xx