Sunday, 9 February 2020

Slow Unwinding in February

It's been a slow writing week. No writing group due to childcare issues, no publications. One very positive acceptance and a handful of submissions I managed to get out. I managed to find a pocket or two of time to work on some unfinished poems. 

I've also bit the bullet and sent an application to do a reading into a local poetry event. I've tried to convince some of the other poets from my group to do a larger reading, but there have been no takers so far so I put in an individual application. I think we'll have a better chance to pull more of a crowd and get accepted if we could do a longer set with more people, but I'm happy to be added to another programme or do a short one on my own. Well, maybe not happy, scared silly is more apt, but I'll give it a go, if I get a chance.

I took a bit of time to read another Hedgehog Poetry publication The Legend of the Kettle Daughter by Amy Alexander. Accompanied by the author's artwork, the poems tell the story of the Kettle Daughter, Alexander's mother, through the imagery of Utah, moving between a cabin in the mountains to Salt Lake City and back again. 

The Kettle Daughter's daughter tries to unravel the mythology and family stories to understand what haunts her mother and in turn herself. 

'I existed, an audience
as she spoke everything
into myth,'


I was intrigued by these poems' slow opening, like moving hesitantly through a dim lit room. They pulled me to follow the threads they lay through the rooms with words and images to better understand the stories. The fine webs between them caught me, but lead me on carefully from one poem to the next. This is a collection I will have to reread several times to feel I've really followed everything, one that builds up in my mind as I traverse it again and again, but it's definitely worth the time.

The various Hedgehog collections I've managed to read, and I have a good pile left from the two Cult deliveries I've received, have each been their own creature. I couldn't put my finger on what kind of poem and poet Hedgehog prefers, no house style. Each book has their own appeal and strengths. I've found treasures in each pamphlet. As a future Hedgehog writer this is reassuring. Hopefully, I will fit because I have my own voice and my stories are strong enough to stand on their own.

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