Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grave with Lights by JoAnne McKay

On our recent holiday in Dumfries and Galloway (which you can read about on Crafty Green Poet here, here, here and here) Crafty Green Boyfriend had a lovely lunch with poet JoAnne McKay, who blogs at Titus the Dog. JoAnne gave me a copy of her latest poetry pamphlet Grave with Lights.

The first thing you notice about this book is that it's a beautiful object, beautifully packaged in a handmade fabric cover.

The beautiful presentation continues inside with paintings from Victor Henderson to complement the poetry. I do like poetry pamphlets that make full use of the possibilities of presentation, making the pamphlet a lovely thing in itself not just the plain vehicle for the poetry. There is a risk of style over substance of course, but this isn't an issue in this case as these poems certainly have plenty of substance. Variety too.

The poems here range over slaughterhouses, pets, damaged souls, waiting rooms and convents. My favourite poem is I Would Be Fast in which the speaker imagines herself a bicycle and the words whoosh along at the speed and rhythm of a cyclist:

push against casing to ride alongside
racing lines, Cycling pedals hypnotise
on passing, moving air, rush, moving air, rush. 

There are only thirteen poems in this pamphlet, but they're all well worth reading and re-reading and the quality of the production means that you'll want to keep picking the book up!

Grave with Lights by JoAnne McKay, £10 plus postage and packaging, available here.


Titus said...

How cool! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Real Cool! (and i sewed the envelope!!)