https://gofund.me/765879f5 email email@example.com in subject put amount donated (I can verify) which issues you want (pdfs) Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the poets of 2020 is at least $5 itself due to the size. Overcome is at least $3 due to it coming
Overcome includes: Fevers of the Mind 5: Overcome is the 5th Anthology for poetry, writing that generally themes of anxiety, social justice, overcoming adversities and more. Fevers of the Mind has been built on this concept of fully understanding great writing, creativity, mental health therapy and showcase wonderful poets and writers. Faye Alexandra Rose, HLR, Lisa Mary Armstrong, Charlotte Hamrick, Z.R. Ghani, Kushal Poddar, Lawrence Moore, R.D. Johnson, Paul Brookes, Stephen Allen, HilLesha O’Nan, David L O’Nan, M.S. Evans, Annest Gwilym, Pasithea Chan, Matthew da Silva, Rosie Johnston, Amanda Crum, Barney Ashton-Bullock, Elisabeth Horan, Peach Delphine, Coby Daniels, Rose Knapp, A.R. Salandy, Tim Heerdink, Catrice Greer, Margaret Viboolsittiseri, Martins Deep, Stephen J Golds, Anisha Kaul, James Diaz, Charles K. Carter, Linda M. Crate, Vicky Allen, Charlotte Oliver, Ryan Flett, Samantha Terrell, Robin McNamara, Anneka Chambers, Maxine Rose Munro, Gayle J. Greenlea, Elizabeth M Castillo, Sarika Jaswani, Sarra Culleno, Ethan McGuire, Georgia Hilton, Briony Collins, Bruce McRae, Shiksha Dheda, Michael Igoe, Dai Fry, Scott Christopher Beebe & more
All contributions go back into this website & hopefully able to put out more content because of this. The more you send the more pdfs I will send out to you.
1st issue includes interviews with Paul Gilmartin of Mental Illness Happy Hour, Aaron Tanner of Melodic Virtue Books, and Kentucky Poet Legend Ron Whitehead. Contributions by Tianna Hansen, Paul Rowe, Kristin Garth, Helena Fools, Scott Christopher Beebe, Abuh Monday Eneojo, Guy Farmer, Eli Horan, Guy Farmer, Rockshow Gimmicks, Heidi Miller Krause, Kara Beth Rasure, Roberto Zariskeeni, Jerry Masterson, Kimberly Cunningham, Christopher (C.L.) Belcher, John Everex, David G Lee, Amanda McLeod, Neel Trivedi, Jennifer Hibbs, Al Matheson, Christopher Osswald, Linda Crate, Elizabeth York Dickinson, John Ogunlade, Matthew Calmes, Matt Seeley, Paul Gilmartin, Aaron Tanner, Ron Whitehead, Mary Jones, Ruth Cheruto, Hillary Behsharam, Juliette Sebock, Anne Paulet, Chloe Gorman, Abigail Swire, Anna Nash aka diD (c) Kaleidoscope, Christian Gould, Megha Sood, Samuel Guest, Colin James, Stephen Morgan Woodworth, Jinn Bug, Hillesha D O’Nan, David L O’Nan
Poetry, Short Stories, Interviews, Art, Photography with interweaving moods of humor, anxiety, happiness, love, sadness, mental health awareness, hope, faith. Many creative poets, artists, photographers, lyricists in each issue. Issue 2 includes interviews with Brett Siler of Rebore Records, Jessie Lynn McMains Poetry/Editor at Bone & Ink Press, Matthew M C Smith, Brunette Glassco, Judge Santiago Burdon, Rachael Ikins, Justin Karcher, Helena Fools, Jackie Chou, Akapo Elizabeth, Christopher Osswald, Amanda “Enola” Reeves, Elizabeth Moura, Barbara Avon, Anne Paulet scripta 21, Anna Nash kaleidoscope diD, John Everex, George Miller, Stephen Watt, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Scott Christopher Beebe, Jennifer Hibbs, Jennifer Carr, Juleigh Howard-Hobson, Rachel Cunniffe, Kushal Poddar, December Lace, J Matthew Waters, David Fladger, Ana Lorenza Jimenez, Lynn White, Norb Aikin, Doug Polk, ps pirro, Anna Rozwadowska, Ellen Kirkman, Demi Whitnell, Paul Brookes, JDG, Jesse Falodun, Jamie Routley, Rickey Rivers Jr, Robin Ray, Ulane Vuorio, Samantha Merz, Abuh Monday Eneojo, John Ogunlade, Amanda McLeod, Neel Trivedi, Paul Robert Mullen, David Milburn, Pasithea Chan, Michelle Nadasi, Megha Sood, David L O’Nan, Hillesha O’Nan, Roberto Zariskeeni, Paul S Rowe, Eric Valor
Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issue 3 the Darkness & the Light contributors include Hillesha O’Nan, David L O’Nan, Cee Martinez, Scott Christopher Beebe, Peach Delphine, Richard Waring, JP Meador, Stephen Sherman, Jack Bowman, John Everex, Ann Hultberg, Matt Duggan, Cara Bovaird, Foy Timms, Megha Sood, Ulane Vuorio, Raine Geoghegan, Iona Murphy, Kaitlyn Luckow, Ivan Peledov, Joan McNerney, Karen Mooney, Rumillenial Poetry, Niles Reddick, Jackie Chou, Jennifer Criss, Linda Crate, Chris Maxwell, etc
Close your eyes and meditate on what was this year.2020 became the most difficult year for most humanity to handle –Emotionally, mentally, socially, physicallyThe many challenges have caused the world to spin in all these hardships.Resulting in both the best in humanity, but also an influx of bullying Amongst the people. Civil Unrest, bigotry, racism, conspiracies, a plague among us that many rejects and spread without fears of the outcome. As thousands if not millions began to die. The excuses and lies spread through the governmental figures.They were not ready to handle or unwilling to handle what their narcissism would not allow them to handle.Many sick, many deprived, many feeling unwanted by their country, unable to trust figures to help them feel safe & secure in an unknown world.Through this year. The ebbs and flows of creativity have hit. Sometimes you can’t do anything but stare at walls and ponder life. Sometimes though, we began to write, write about what is real, what is ideal, and writing can be therapeutic when you need it. The following is the Poets of 2020. Survivors through thought. Interviews, Essays, Poetry, Prose, Sonnets, Prayers, Memories, Dreams, Uniting, Eradicating fears, Living instead of Dying. We will come through and get over this foggy road.Just a Poetry Anthology really with an interview with musician Austin Lucas. Featured Poets: Ankh Spice, Steve Denehan, & Jenny Mitchell. Spotlight Poets Catrice Greer, December Lace, Kari Flickinger, Kushal Poddar, Raine Geoghegan Megha Sood, Damien Donnelly, Linda Crate, Matthew M C Smith & Black Bough Poetry, Icefloe Press with Robert Kenter & Moira J Saucer, Mela Blust and dozens of other poets & writers. A Massive collection. Contributors: Troy Jackson, David L O’Nan, Ankh Spice, Hokis, HilLesha O’Nan, Susan Richardson, Catrice Greer, A.R. Salandy, Sher Ting, the Poetry Question, Chris Margolin, Norb Aikin, Jenna Faccenda, December Lace, Ken Tomaro, Kushal Poddar, Ethan Jacob O’Nan, Tan Tzy Jiun, Icefloe Press, Robert Frede Kenter, Moira J Saucer, David Hanlon, Amy Barnes, Jason DeKoff, Darren Demaree, Abdulmueed Balogun, Steve Wheeler, Raine Geoghegan, Jim Young, Bradley Galimore, Anisha Kaul, Tim Heerdink, Damien Donnelly, Maggs Vibo, Mela Blust, Kristin Garth, Rickey Rivers Jr, Foy Timms, Jackie Chou, David Ralph Lewis, Paul Brookes, David Hay, Austin Lucas, Kari Flickinger, Sidney Mansueto, John Ogunlade, Lawrence Moore, Karen Mooney, Jenny Mitchell, Z.D. Dicks, Will Davis, Julie Stevens, Mukung Gnanadesikan, Gail Sheridan, James Lilley, Samantha Merz, Richard Waring, Iona Murphy, Vern Fein, Gerald Jatzek, Ediney Santana, KC Bailey, Samuel Strathman, Rachael Itkins, Mike Whiting, Linda Crate, Steve Denehan, Samantha Terrell, Peter Hague, Al Matheson, E Samples, Ann Hultberg, Ceinwed C E Haydon, Jane Dougherty, Michael Igoe, Will Schmit, Dai Fry, Megha Sood, Barney Ashton-Bullock, M.S. Evans, John Everex, Maxine Rose Munro, Jane Rosenberg LaForge, Lacresha Hall, Lucy Whitehead, Merril Smith, Kelly Marie McDonough, Gabe Louis Matthew M C Smith, Black Bough Poetry & more.
This bookzine is a book dedicated to the Inspiration of Leonard Cohen has left on many lives. Poetry, Quotes, Artwork photos, stories. It has been 3 years since his passing, and it is still hard to come to full grip with this. Contributors include Geoffrey Wren, Paul Robert Mullen, Attracta Fahy, John Everex, Lennon Stravato, Joan Hawkins, Christina Strigas, ps Pirro, Sarah Marquez, Xerado, Norb Aikin, Ediney-Santana, Neel Trivedi, Amanda McLeod, Robert Frede Kenter, Jack Bowman, Ryan De Leon from Sons & Daughters Journal, Ellen Kirkman, Greg Santos, Kari Ann Flickinger, John W Leys, Pavlina Marie, Amy Barnes, Michael Igoe, Kushal Poddar, Gerald Jatzek, David Mellor, Ankh Spice, David Grant Lee, Shauna McGuiness, Peter Hague, Samantha Merz, Tim Heerdink, Madison McSweeney, Kimberly Cunningham, Barney Ashton Bullock, David L O’Nan, Hillesha O’Nan
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
David: I believe I began writing after having my older brother read his poetry to me. I would constantly read his stuff. He was always obsessed with song lyrics (Prince, U2, The Cure, The Smiths, The Beatles, etc) I really got into the Beatles around 12 years old, and began to write bad love songs & songs against war that were pretty cheesy. I’ve always had a storytelling imagination. I began reading Anne Sexton as a teenager and always have been a big song lyric absorber. With A.D.D. I wasn’t always the most patient with reading.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today? Well once I started writing & reading aloud more at coffeehouses, I began learning & reading more poetry & writers. Burroughs, Kerouac, Sylvia Plath, Tom Waits, Townes Van Zandt, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, my favorite Leonard Cohen, Ilya Kaminsky, so many contemporaries I interact with in the Poetry & Writing Community.
Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
David: I still want to be a writer/poet. I am still learning at 41 years old the ins and outs. I guess I had that inkling around 12, then again at 20 writing angsty stuff (mad about women letting me down) and then 24/25 when I began frequenting a coffeehouse in Evansville. I began writing a scrapped up novel “The Bible Belt Bachelor” in the same vain as “On the Road” I had a break in writing through most of my 30s and then when my dad got sick with ALS I began writing more & more. Self published some stuff & began Fevers of the Mind.
Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?
David: My brother, my wife, the Penny Lane Coffeehouse, Reading aloud for several years (not so much anymore), Jean Kizer, Jerry Masterson, Heidi Krause, Twitter vss 365 getting me motivated again, Poetry Community, Leonard Cohen
Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & did any travels away from home influence your work?
David: I grew up in a small town in Kentucky called Sebree.
So, I do have many poems based on small town living in a Southern/Midwestern town. I carry over some personality (ies) from the town and interact them into new characters and situations at times. I have lived in Evansville, Indiana most of my adult life & now in Henderson, KY and I still write the same way. Perspectives from where i’m writing from doesn’t necessarily come from where i’m living. I have visited & lived for a short time in New Orleans, so much of my big city themed poetry comes from time living there, or visiting Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Bloomington and other Midwestern cities/towns.
Q6: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?
David: This will be a slightly weird answer. I helped contribute poems to an anthology about ALS “Voices for the Cure” ran by Paul Rowe and the late Eric Valor. I am unsure if it ever came out, but the poems I placed in there are about my father and his battle with ALS. Some of these poems have seen the light of day in my self published work or also on this site. 2 poems by David L O’Nan about my father’s battle with ALS in 2016
I’m very proud of the community I’ve helped shape together with many writers for this site with active contributors, interviews, the Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest Issues/Anthologies.
Q7: Favorite activities to relax?
David: General Anxiety/ADD/OCD/parenthood…relax? I try to read some, I watch wrestling, basketball, listen to music like crazy, taking walks with my wife, play in the park with my kids. Youtube wormholes, research/history.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?
David: From Leonard Cohen’s “Stories From the Street”
We are so small between the stars So large against the sky And lost among the subway crowds I try to catch your eye
Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?
David: Why Sure! Thanks for asking…ummm Fevers of the Mind Anthology Issue 5: Overcome will be coming out soon (currently editing) I have 6 self-published books that i’m revising (added pics to the poems, changing them up some, some revised poems) “The Famous Poetry Outlaws are Painting Walls and Whispers” “Our Fears in Tunnels” “Taking Pictures in the Dark” “New Disease Streets” “The Cartoon Diaries” “Lost Reflections” still on Amazon currently…will be replaced by new versions when announced. Stay tuned. Raw forms of these books are still out there for now. There are several past issues of Fevers of the Mind Poetry Digest: Issue 1 (June 2019) under Fevers of the Mind Poetry & Art Digest, Fevers of the Mind Issue 2 In Memoriam, Fevers of the Mind Issue 3: The Darkness & the Light, Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020, the aforementioned Leonard Cohen inspired Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen with artwork from Geoffrey Wren Wonderful Artwork from Avalanches in Poetry Writings & Art Inspired by Leonard Cohen by artist/writer Geoffrey Wren
The 2nd Leonard Cohen Anthology will be worked on in the next month “Before I Turn Into Gold” and also Fevers of the Mind Anthologies will be coming out at least every other month as far as I can keep it going.
Personally, I have more poems/stories coming out soon with Icefloe Press. A project on facebook “Curved Air” edited by Theresa Haffner. Possibly something with the Midwest Writers Guild. I’ve recently had work in Anti-Heroin Chic, Punk Noir Magazine. In the past I’ve had stuff in 3 Moon, Nymphs Publishing, Royal Rose Magazine, Elephants Never, Headline Poetry & Press, Dark Marrow, Voices for the Cure ALS Anthology, Spillwords, Ghost City Press, a feature in Cajun Mutt Press, I’ve had some stuff of mine read by Damien Donnelly on his podcast “Eat the Storms” https://eatthestorms.com/ and will have more read by Damien in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!
I don’t send too much out due to RSD and I put tons of time in editing, writing, my brain scrambling in and out of exhaustion. Follow us on twitter @feversof @davidLONan1 Facebook Author Page is DavidLONan1 (I don’t use it much) I don’t have Instagram…sorry.
Here are some links:
There are a million I think on this site… just search my name if interested in my poems.
I remember being bullied as a child for everything: being shy, my weight, the color of my eyes, my laugh, my refusal to drink underage, my clothes, my sensitivity— anything perceived as weakness was a weapon they’d use against me, it wasn’t until my uncle took his own life I realized that i didn’t want to die just wanted the pain inside of me to wither away like a flower before winter; and I feel so guilty for being so lost inside my own pain that I didn’t realize he had struggles of his own— but he told me to chase my dreams relentlessly and never let them go, and so, I am here holding onto this anthem; hoping one day I can make him proud.
check on the strong ones
I never want anyone to feel so lonely, so empty, so useless, unwanted or unnecessary as I did; and so, I am the friend that will always be there no matter how bad it is for my own mental health— the friend that will always make you laugh and help when she can, the one who will never tell you her struggles, the one who says she’s fine when she’s really not; you all need to remember to check in on your strong friends because sometimes even our knees buckle sometimes we cannot tell you the well rehearsed lie that we are fine sometimes our bones are heavy and our hearts become stone leading us to the bottoms of oceans— sometimes we need help lifting ourselves out of the waters of our fevered minds, sometimes we need someone brave enough to face mountains that are not theirs to face, someone who will listen instead of waiting to speak
For as Long as I Remain
when i think of home i imagine house of my parents, they live in a place with an ageless face whose beauty sighs in clouds and blue skies and trees tall as skyscrapers; it is in the fields and forests i spent a lot of time growing up— the loner no one understood unraveled herself in thick puffs of white clouds, endless blue skies, choruses of rambling creeks and babbling brooks, in fields of orange wild lilies growing by the side of the road, in the wings of butterflies and crows; there is peace to be found in the heart of this place so i focus on those memories when i can because not every memory is potatoes and gravy some are heavy stones i try to chisel away— but in nature i found pieces of me that music and books couldn’t give, and a peace that will cleanse me for as long as i remain.
You’re Always There
when i remember home it is inevitable that i remember you i wish sometimes the rain could wash away past memories, but you are in my recollection; in my bones haunting me over and over— when will it ever be enough for you? you hunger for something that was never yours, and i told you no; but you tried to take it anyway— then at college, when i was finally loosening my petals, beginning to feel safe you found me; “i bet you don’t remember me”, you grinned all i could do was stare like a doe caught in the headlights of a vehicle gutted by a ruthless hunter hungry for blood no matter the cost— why couldn’t you leave me alone? the forced kisses i insisted you didn’t take, the attempted rape; now when someone tells me i have a pretty smile it’s a trigger and you are shooting over me over and over again until all i want to do is crawl into the bones of a past self so you cannot torment the current me— it never works, you’re always there.
This Place Isn’t Mine
i miss living in the town i grew up in, home cooked meals and dusty dirt roads; a village of trees and stalks of corn taller than me—there were always adventures to be had in the woods, always secrets the wind would tell me; i would always uncover some new mythology of my name and bones—i miss being able to wake up to a sunrise and see a sunset clearly, where the hustle of city life wasn’t so predominant; a place where i didn’t feel threatened simply by existing—i miss the moments spent in tranquil nature, listening to crowsong and dancing beneath the moon; visits to the beach or standing in the creek, hearing the psalms of trees—i don’t like this place of endless sidewalks, buildings, and the omnipresent arrival and departure of vehicles; i like the music of the country better: the mooing cows, the cawing crow, the songbirds, the barking dogs, and singing crickets; everything is better than the constant beeping and whirring of people focused on being somewhere other than where they are—i just want to wrap myself up until i can be husked and boiled away from this place and come out shimmering, new, beautiful, and reformed.
i understand why
found a puzzle piece of me you all tried to keep hidden from me all these moons, and i understand why; the dark feminine says respect me or perish so the lot of you’d be dead for all the disrespect you’ve always dished me— but I’ve stepped into my power and magic, and i feel more secure about myself than i ever have; it is easy to make an insecure girl bend to your whim and will and make her doubt herself until she succumbs and obeys— but i am no longer that little girl who is terrified, i have become the terror that will haunt you in your nightmares; i will not apologize because you should’ve apologized for not accepting me as i was.
the girl that loved you died
my heart was a wilted flower, and you plucked the petals; let me bleed for a love you refused to reciprocate because you were taken with your fantasies of me rather than who i really was— had a lust that killed me, but i rose from the ashes of your chaos on these mighty flaming wings; a phoenix whose tears may heal but her fires burn immortal of the flame ancient daughter of the moon— i am a warrior always have been, my rebellious nature and sharp tongue have gotten me into trouble; but i refuse to be tamed— wild as a forest fire and hurricane you will never find anything but ruin should you stand in the way of me and my dreams, and so i recommend you stay far away from my kingdom; because the girl that loved you died and the dark feminine stands in her place this dark phoenix will be your end
they say i’m aggressive
i am always told i am aggressive, but why can’t a woman be fierce? why should i apologize for the fact that i won’t be taken advantage of? got a sharp wit and a sharp tongue, and whilst i can be flowers and compassion i am also raging storms and lightening strikes;
a magic that no one understands i am hecate’s daughter—
everyone misunderstands me as they do my friends the crows and ravens, but that makes me no less a queen;
i was born at night the darkness doesn’t scare me because i know how to survive the darkness
sometimes it is the light that is more terrifying because you never know if it is a false dream or a betrayer who is a fallen devil singing the songs of an angel—
but i am a spooky queen you shouldn’t cross me because i dance with all the rage and wrath of the witches, you burned in my family eons ago, and i am a woman you cannot burn; a phoenix whose flaming wings and talons
can rip you to ruin.
there’ll be a rematch
i was lost in a dark limbo hurt to think of love or you or anything
wanted to close my eyes, thought of how pretty it would be to observe the creek from beneath the water;
i was suffering a deep depression that almost swallowed me whole except my family and friends refused to give up on me no matter how sad or angry i was—
you claimed you loved me, but love isn’t supposed to be an ache that rips you apart until you feel like a broken sunset tripping over clouds until your light fizzles into night;
i lost our child and your love and all respect for myself because i thought you cheating on me made me less beautiful and i saw an ogre every time i looked into the mirror—
but, darling, you were the monster; you woke the monster in me, too—
one day there will be a rematch, you’ll lose.
longer than i remember
i may be strange and unusual, but i am in the land of the living; full of so many worlds and characters it could take centuries to unravel them all from every universe of me—
people get lonely being alone, not me; i am actually addicted to it
silence is much preferable to small talk—
and with all these ideas, i have, i’m never truly alone; even when no one is here the words keep me company
no one seems to understand that—
they tell me i need someone, but i have always had to lean on myself for strength because no one has ever been there for me;
so why do i need another person?
they say ultra-independence is a sign of trauma, but i already know because i’ve been suffering with pstd and trust issues longer than i can remember.
From Linda: The themes of my latest chapbook center around rebirth, reincarnation, and learning from the past. It speaks upon how events from past lives can still impact us today, and sometimes looking and learning from the past can actually make us stronger. It is about overcoming emotional trauma and embracing the inner warrior and fighting for a better future.Follow Linda on twitter @thysilverdoe Check out her latest poetry chapbook “The Samurai”
Bio: Linda M. Crate (she/her) is a Pennsylvanian writer. Her works have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies both online and in print. She is the author of ten poetry chapbooks, the latest being: Hecate’s Child (Alien Buddha Publishing, November 2021). She’s also the author of the novella Mates (Alien Buddha Publishing, March 2022). She has three micro-poetry collections out: Heaven Instead (Origami Poems Project, May 2018), moon mother (Origami Poems Project, March 2020.), and & so i believe (Origami Poems Project, April 2021). She has published four full-length poetry collections Vampire Daughter (Dark Gatekeeper Gaming, February 2020), The Sweetest Blood (Cyberwit, February 2020), Mythology of My Bones (Cyberwit, August 2020), and you will not control me (Cyberwit, March 2021).
Look, there she goes. Dressed in her finery for a Gypsy Rommer.
Black leather boots, long purple dress gold around her neck and a feather in her hat,
She’ll mingle with the guests, drink wine until she’s skimmished.
She’ll hitch her skirts up. Dance like the young ones.
Just before she leaves she’ll give order and sing a song
that nobody knows but everyone loves and then she’ll disappear into the shadows
into the dust that rolls along the empty streets and never settles.
Rommer – wedding; Skimmished – drunk.
Dark is the Forest
Dark is the forest and deep, In times gone past it’s where we’d sleep. Under the oaks or the Hawthorn tree, drop our covels, our minds roam free.
Dark is the forest and deep, for dukkering, our malts will keep, a small gold ring tied with string, around their wrist or in their fist.
Dark is the forest and deep, where foxgloves grow and deer do leap, our plans are spun and boar will run. We take our time, we ‘ave some fun.
Dark is the forest and deep, we pass by patrins for those who seek, to keep in touch with folk that are dear and pass on news of birth and fear
.Dark is the forest and deep.
The title is taken from a poem No 131 – Poems 1916 by Edward Thomas.
Romani words (jib) Covels – belongings; Dukkering – fortune telling; Patrins – signs left along the way, can be leaves or string.
Then the Day Came…
I remember your body lying in the darkened room, the smell of stale air and socks. How you had become ghostlike, silent, creeping about the house. I missed the boy in you, the joy in you. In the afternoon you’d come downstairs, go into the office where the computer sat. You moved your fingers on the keyboard at the speed of light as you played game after game, not stopping to eat or drink. There were two sides of you. The quiet one, soft voice, sad face, eyes filled with longing. The other, set like stone, words forming sharp arrows, wounding me, wounding you. Then the day came, when I felt the weight of all that you were holding onto, and I wondered if you could hold on any longer. On that day I kissed your forehead as you lay in bed, the voice of Michael Jackson on the radio singing Billie Jean. A sharp memory of you aged five dancing, shouting ‘OOW.’ When I returned home late that night and saw you in the kitchen, you were making scrambled eggs. You were dressed, you were calm, your eyes looking straight at me and you said. ‘Hi Mum, how did the workshop go?’
Raine Geoghegan is a poet, prose writer, playwright and storyteller living in the Malvern Hills. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Forward Prize for Best Single Poem and Best of the Net. Her work has been published in print and online in many countries and some of her work appears in a documentary film, ‘Stories of the Hop Yards. Her two pamphlets are published by Hedgehog Poetry Press. She is of Romani, Irish and Welsh ancestry. Her first full collection will be published in Marsh 2022 with Salmon Poetry Press.
About Raine Geoghegan & her writing process, influences, and where to find her work
My latest book, ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog’ is a collection of monologues, haibuns, prose poems and songs. Debjani Chatterjee writes: ‘Each piece is a vignette that tells a story of a disappearing Romany way of life. Raine Geoghegan has captured fleeting moments and expressed them in a language that rings sharp and true.’ This endorsement stresses the fact that we Romany people are fiercely holding onto to our culture, our traditions and history. I bring members of my family to life by giving them a voice in the form of monologues or songs. I like to think that the reader will be transported into the world of the Romany and that they learn something in the process. I hope the reader is informed and discovers aspects of the Romany culture when reading this book. After having my first book published, ‘Apple Water: Povel Panni’ and being humbled by its success and popularity, it sold like hot cakes, I was keen to write something a little different although still keeping close to the Romany theme. Mark Davidson, my publisher at Hedgehog Poetry Press liked the idea that I presented so I began bringing together work I had already finished as well as writing new pieces. My ancestors are larger than life and I was inspired by their strengths. I knew that I wanted to continue writing about them. A few things happened while I was drawing on certain characters in my family. I would read the monologues aloud as I wrote them. Once a bell rang when I was reading a monologue based on my granny. There was only my husband and I sitting in the kitchen, the bell was on a table in the hallway. It rang loud and clear and I had a shiver down my spine. I like to think it was my granny letting me know that she liked what I was doing. I wrote on and off as a child and as an adult but I never became serious about it until I started my Masters degree in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Since I graduated I have not stopped writing and my work is constantly embracing new ideas and forms. I like the monologue as a form, it resonates with the part of me that loves to perform. Having worked as an actor for many years it comes as no surprise. I also write plays and am working on new material which has a certain theatrical element to it. There are a number of writers and poets that I am drawn to. I’ll start with Vasko Popa who for me is one of the finest poets ever. His work is mainly imagistic and it literally comes alive on the page. I am inspired by his depth of imagination as was Ted Hughes who wrote the forward for Popa’s Collected Poems, Hughes is another poet that I love. Dylan Thomas is a poet that I return to time and time again mainly for his musicality and the use of language and story. I am from the Welsh valleys so feel akin to his sentiments. I adore Seamus Heaney, who doesn’t? I like to read his poetry when I am stuck. It helps me to re-focus. Now for the women. W. S. Merwin must be mentioned. Sappho is a poet that never fails to enlighten me. Her words hang in the air and I love reading them aloud. Ann Michaels writes so eloquently and touches my soul. I heard her read at Ledbury Poetry Festival around five years ago and loved listening to her as her Canadian accent seemed to enrich her poetry. Sujata Bhat was also reading and I fell in love with her poetry too. She uses such vivid imagery and her work is a mythology in itself. Louise Gluck is fantastic and I will never tire of her. Papusza, a Romany poet walks with me but sadly there are only a small amount of poems that have been translated into English. Songs of the Roma is electrifying. Others are Ruth Padel, her book, ‘The Mara Crossing’ is brilliant, Chase Twichell, Mimi Khalvati and many more. I’d also like to mention the publishers who are introducing us to some very fine poets these days such as Nine Arches, Seren, Salmon Poetry Press, and of course Hedgehog Poetry Press. I like to draw and paint a little. I love the freedom of sketching and there have been a number of times when this has inspired a poem. I love Nature and am often inspired by big skies, the Malvern Hills, the running water which is freely available from the wells. My acting experience and my love of reading plays has inspired me in relation to writing monologues and filmic poems. My writing process is a mixture of things. I always have a notepad by my bed as I am often inclined to get ideas late at night or early morning. I jot them down and then later in the afternoon I work on them. I also hear voices, not in terms of me going mad but a gentle voice encouraging me to write about a specific person. I love it when this happens as it takes me right into the heart of a certain character. I write longhand first then I move onto the computer and play around with the form. There are times when I decide to write about a certain event or topic and I will go onto research it and just be with it for a while. I try not to force ideas. I also try not to rush. I like to take my time and to also give events or happenings space. I’ve not written about the Pandemic, I haven’t wanted to. Maybe in the future when it has settled I might but in my mind it’s too raw, I can’t really process it yet. I have to say that my Romany family have influenced my Romany poems, especially my granny, mother, great grandparents, grandfather and also my Welsh family who are gadje (non Romany). Other influences are the Welsh Valleys, the Malvern Hills and Herefordshire where my family used to pick hops. The most rewarding part of the writing process is reading it aloud once it’s all fallen into place, that sense of completion and new life. The most frustrating part is when I just can’t pull the words and images that I know are lying just inside my brain. I then leave it and let it compost and usually when I return to it those words and images are there. I do still have a few poems that have not been so fortunate. They still sit in a folder somewhere not seeing the light. My creativity has not been adversely affected by the happenings of this year, instead I have been busy writing, performing, teaching. It’s been a wild year. I’ve had offers of work and a large number of my poems have been published. I worked with a New York Theatre Producer on a script for a musical. My play was performed live on Zoom and was streamed all over the world. However, I have had illness and my emotions have been all over the place. I feel that my creative output has helped me to deal with these aspects. I have picked up on the collective fear but I have tried my best to live each day in a mindful way and to give thanks for all that I have. Website – rainegeoghegan.co.uk Twitter – RaineGeoghegan5 Apple Water: Povel Panni & they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog are both published by Hedgehog Poetry Press and are available from my website. Many of my videos and readings are available online, just google my name. Raine Geoghegan, BA Hons, MA, Dip RWTA – I am a member of The Society of Authors & Lapidus.