"...the gift of being able to subtly eroticise even the most mundane things".
So says Hot Press Magazine. And I thank them very much for saying so.
Here is the full review, where I am (when at my best) 'reminiscent of a female Cohen'.
Keeping Bees can be purchased here.
In a week's time I will be sharing the stage with two wonderful writers at the Belfast Book Festival. Doire Press authors Kimberly Campanello, Eamon Carr, and myself will be reading on Monday June 9th at the Crescent Arts Centre. The reading begins at 6:30pm, and it promises to be full of good things. Buy your tickets here.
To Galway and back, all in one day. Thank you to everyone who came along to The Crane Bar this afternoon for the launch of Keeping Bees. To James Harrold - a massive thank you for such a brilliant introduction and for making bees and tomatoes sound as sexy as they ought to be. Thank you also to Kevin O'Shea for taking such lovely photos. And, as always, to Doire Press for giving poems about bees and horses and peaches and Jesus (body and all) a good home. Extra thanks to Lisa for cooking up a storm - food and poetry go hand in hand, and there was much to feast on. Was a pleasure to spend the day in Galway - lovely to see so many faces - both familiar and new. Thank you!!!
B&W photos - Kevin O'Shea
Colour - Sarah Clancy
A couple of months ago, I posted my thrill at having my poems featured in the Spring Issue of The Stinging Fly. Recently, the editor asked me to write something for The Stinging Fly blog - something relating to how Keeping Bees came to be. And so I wrote about duende (because without it there would be nothing wild or true in anything I write) and the body (because everyone has one, and everything we know or understand of the world comes into and goes out of our bodies) and feminism (because being one means that I will always write feminist, to the best of my abilities).
"Keeping Bees is full of poems about the body. And fruit—where the fruit are nothing more than metaphors for the body and its parts. The same goes for the vegetables, and the poem about boxes, and the most logical poem I’ve ever written about a horse. I love the body. The word itself, the way it feels to say it, is sexy. The first syllable presses lips together, and then opens them up to a place where the second syllable presses the tongue up against the roof of the mouth; it is, as far as words go, absolutely one of the sexiest in the English language. In the end, while it doesn’t surprise me that the collection is full of body (and bodies) it didn’t start out that way. I had no poetic designs on the body. All I knew is that I had one, and everyone else had one too".
It was an absolute pleasure to write this piece, and I am very thankful to have been asked to do so. For anyone interested in reading the full piece, it can be accessed here. Copies of the current issue of The Stinging Fly can be purchased here.
On March 29th, surrounded by all sorts of beautiful art (in an absolutely funky space - an optician's shop on Kildare Street), I launched Keeping Bees. Published by Doire Press, the collection was introduced by Patrick Chapman - he called it many things; among them, muscular (and I liked that very much). It was for me, one of the nights of my life. There was wine, and there were books - and people came and took their fill of both. I had friends travel from Canada and Switzerland - and with the music of the lovely Ria Czerniak (she's responsible for my cover), we had a very nice time indeed. All of the photos of the night are care of Aidan Murphy. All of the smiles - the wine. Launching books is a good buzz.
To buy a copy of Keeping Bees, head on over to Doire Press.
Keeping Bees...a book full of poems about bodies, where bodies sound like beehives.
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.
Dimitra Xidous's debut collection 'Keeping Bees" is available now from Doire Press.