Monday, June 7, 2010

A Guernsey Double -- official launch

Have been somewhat diverted from working on the Anthology due to the fact that Richard Fleming and I have now finalised the contents of A Guernsey Double, our two person collection of poetry about Guernsey. The book is in two halves, my bit is called The Boy Who Fell Upwards, and Richard's The Man Who Landed.

The launch for this will fittingly be in St Peter Port on July 1st 2010, in the Greenhouse at 5:30. Every poem in the collection is directly related to the island, and Guernsey very much is the star of the collection.

We were lucky enough to get Professor Edward Chaney to write us a generous introduction, in which he says:
"Not since the extraordinarily poetic Book of Ebenezer le Page has a single volume made the soul of the island so unremittingly its focus. The results are powerfully moving: a work that deals with both losing a home and finding one. Two sides of the same coin. For Guernsey people, or visitors, this book is a rich addition to their experience of the island."
Naturally Richard and I looking forward to this a great deal. The book is a double fronted concept, which has two front covers. The name A Guernsey Double derives from the fact that there are two poets in it, is that doubles were coins, which were still legal tender into 1960s. However Jane Mosse has also been very involved, not least in proofing and editing. Without her help, for example, patois might have appeared (disastrously) as patios in the text.

Below, the double fronted cover, designed by Betsy Alvarez the barcode and isbn to be dropped into the bottom right hand corner.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Celia Jenkins

Have been contacted by Celia Jenkins, who is currently studying Creative Writing, and writing about Guernsey. Here is one of her poems...

An Introduction to the Island of Guernsey, with interludes of Patois

What can I say of a local girl?
Well it’s clear al a la langue bian pendue.
(That’s having the gift of the gab, by the way)
Or maybe al est natte troubllaie.
(She’s completely mad? Most likely)
It’s not hard to see that we local folk are of one ilk,
kindred since our day of birth.
From the Neolithic Guerns who sculpted our dolmens,
to the current dwellers on Sarnia,
(yes, that same one from Sarnia Cherie, all together now...)
We are tied by traditions and traits alike.
Ask a Guern a tchi qu'vous navidgai?
and they’ll likely reply that they’re off to milk the Guernsey cows,
or plant more tomato crops.
We the people, crew crowd and kind,
alike in our fishermen’s knitted jerseys
and jaunty berets,
born and bred a fellowship
to a club, a sort who understand our culture and pride,
these things that make us who we are:
Victor Hugo, liberation, lilies, ormers,
bean jar and gauche from the Viaer Marchi,
the little chapel, phone booths and post boxes painted in blue.
We are a band, a gang,
blood, stock and house,
connected by lineage and familiar soil,
our gem of the sea.
A la perchione.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sam Thompson

Sam is one of those writers who has fallen under the spell of Guernsey, and has sent me some of his work. I am really delighted that lately more and more writers with a Guernsey connection are becoming interested in the Anthology.

Here is an extract from Ste Marguerite de la ForĂȘt (2006) is the penultimate poem in a sequence of 15 free verse sonnets entitled Church Poems depicting the churches which have featured prominently in his life.

From Guernsey’s rugged south coast cliffs
the Forest parish
Climbs through lanes where sunlight
catches a stream or douit
And crosses the fields of the high plateau.
Here a tower and spire
Rise beside the jumbled houses of Le Bourg:
its walls a jigsaw
Of granite slabs, its cornerstones
once part of a dolmen,
With grass and graves on all sides the church stands
alone in its own walled garden.