In February 2013 I responded to a call out for regular poetry submissions to Moon Books blog and my work was accepted. In November 2013 I was asked by Trevor Greenfield, Moon Books’ publisher and publicist, to become a resident poet alongside Tiffany Chaney, Robin Herne, Romany Rivers, Martin Pallot and Beverley Price. In December 2013, Trevor invited us to submit twelve poems each to an anthology.
I’m very excited to announce the official release of Moon Poets is on Friday the 28th of November and it is already available for purchase here: http://www.moon-books.net/books/moon-poets
Tiffany Chaney is a poet and artist residing in North Carolina, USA. I was captivated by ‘My Cailleach,’ which contains fantastic imagery such as a storm collecting ‘a gaggle of old women,’ and this goddess ‘blooming into a frozen dryad’ when she ‘turns to stone on Beltaine.’ Human relationships are echoed in relations between god and goddess and Tiffany explores the life cycles of maiden, mother and crone.
Robin Herne is a polytheist Druid based in Ipswich, UK, who has an impressive knowledge of world mythology. Many of his poems use complex forms drawn from the culture of their subjects. For example, ‘Words for Wuldor,’ an Anglo-Saxon deity, is written in ljodahattr metre, which was used by Heathen skalds and ‘The Ghillie-Du’ is written in ae freislighe, a Gaelic metre. For me his most moving poem is ‘Little Rabbit,’ which is based on the Taoist story of the Rabbit God, ‘Tu-er-shen’. I also love the fierceness of ‘Song of the Wolf Clan,’ which is inspired by the ancient British god, Vindos.
Romany Rivers is a Witch, Reiki Master, artist and mother of two living in Canada, USA. Her poetry explores the changing seasons, motherhood and the nature of the Divine. These themes are interwoven throughout her work. It is clear her experience as a mother permeates her understanding of the myth of the mother goddess giving birth to the son / sun. ‘Autumn Arrives’ describes Romany’s inability to explain to her son why she cannot fix a tree.
Martin Pallot writes poetry inspired by nature and Paganism. His series of Haiku depicts the natural world, its creatures and mythic figures in clear, precise imagery; ‘Fox track in damp earth, / A plethora of Feathers / Where he broke his fast’; ‘Selkie and her seal, / Two souls in a single skin. / Neither can be held.’ Another form he shows mastery of is Tanka.
Beverley Price lives in Ipswich, UK. She describes herself as ‘a weaver of dark prose and poetry’. Several of Beverley’s poems focus on her relationships with ‘dark’ goddesses such as Morgana, Lillith and Hecate. Lines that struck me were the dichotomies in ‘The Lillith Effect’; ‘Under the Hullupu tree we sinned. / The Eve of bones we became saints. / A whiter shade of pale singing dark songs.’ Other poems explore love and a fascination with winter.
I selected poems depicting my relationships with my local landscape and river goddess Belisama and my patron god, Gwyn ap Nudd. ‘Proud of Preston,’ is an address to the city written in Belisama’s voice. ‘The Bull of Conflict’ is a glosa based on a medieval Welsh poem depicting an early encounter with Gwyn. ‘Glastonbury Tor’ is a sonnet recording my dedication to him. ‘The Region Linuis’ and ‘Prayer for Netholme’ cover the history and mythology of Martin Mere, Lancashire’s lost lake. Other topics include the disappearance of the bees, the Awen and revenants.
This is the first time I have had a selection of poems published in print. Looking back it is interesting to consider in what ways I have moved on and how these poems and the landscape and deities who inspired them still influence my creativity.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Trevor Greenfield, all the Moon Poets and Lee Nash the cover designer for making the publication of this book possible.
Thank you and Hail! To Gwyn, Belisama and the spirits of my local landscape for all your guidance and inspiration.
And another big thank you to family, friends, fellow poets and bloggers who have read, listened to and commented on my work.
A review of Moon Poets by Druid author, Nimue Brown can be found here: https://druidlife.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/moon-poets-a-review/