I met Leonard Cohen in a Shoppers Drugmart in Toronto in 2008. And I lost my mind. It was the single most thrilling thing that had ever happened to me. I flashed back to the first time I ever saw his name - and it was during a grade 10 English class - and I knew, as soon as I had read his poem, that it was something I wanted to do. It made me curious about poetry - and wanting to write it.
I came home last night to a birthday card from my parents and two copies of 'Keeping Bees'. It is absolutely something else to see the poems all bound up in this way. I am thrilled and overjoyed - so much so that, all bound up in this way, the book - and the poems in it - have just knocked my meeting with Mr. Cohen out of top spot of joyful things to have happened to me in life. Bring on the launch - and the duende!
Speaking of duende, I was asked to write a short piece for writing.ie on what it was like to pull together the collection. It's live - and can be accessed here.
In the lead up to the launch of Keeping Bees, I am very pleased to have some poems out in the world, between the covers of and on-line in some very fine places.
Colony have published Horse Logic. It is the most logical thing I have ever written. The first issue also includes poetry by Billy Ramsell, Kevin Higgins, and Elaine Cosgrove, as well as some fantastic work from Jess Traynor and Claire-Louise Bennett.
The Bohemyth's March Issue (in celebration of International Women's Day) showcases the work of 18 female writers, and among them, three of my poems - one about a lemon, another about a bird, and a third about animals in general.
And lastly, I am chuffed to have a poem, a small one about death, in Issue 3 of The Penny Dreadful. The cover for the issue has a monkey on it. And what is inside is just pure awesome. Go to them and buy yourself a copy. It's a dreadful as good can be.
So yesterday I shared the beautiful cover for Keeping Bees, done by the gorgeous mind of Ria Czerniak. She is also the gorgeous mind behind the beautiful images in the inaugural issue of The Pickled Body, an international poetry and arts quarterly I edit with Patrick Chapman.
She created a series of four images. Here is what she had to say about creating the work for the issue, and the Red Shoes theme:
"I’ve always been a huge Kate Bush fan, but it was only when I read Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes that I really got excited. It has to be one of the darkest, most profound stories I’ve read in a long time. The ‘don't be distracted by your fancy shoes when you’re meant to be praying’ moral of the story gives it its fable-like quality. The imagery Andersen creates, however, takes it in another direction; the Wonderland-like growing and shrinking of spaces, the enslaved wearer of the relentless red shoes, all lent themselves readily to visual interpretation" - Ria Czerniak
To have a look at the full feature, go here:http://issuu.com/thepickledbody/docs/the_pickled_body_1.1_red_shoes_fina
Feast your eyes. Just let them feast.
Here is how it all went down: Ria Czerniak climbed into my head and when she came out, she made the most beautiful cover for Keeping Bees. It is everything I ever could have wanted, and it is everything it should be. I cannot thank her, or Lisa (of Doire Press) for giving me the most sensual and lush cover. Peaches and bees, and cherries and doves, and boxes and guillotines...oh my!
Details about the Dublin launch, happening on March 29th @ Malloy and Dowling can be found here:
Keeping Bees' cover:
Dimitra Xidous's debut collection 'Keeping Bees" is available now from Doire Press.