I haven’t seen it in person yet, but this is the cover picture Sheila Wakefield of Red Squirrel sent me. The cover photo is by Gerry Cambridge, who has designed and typeset the book. I owe him an enormous debt of gratitude, in dealing with a manuscript that wasn’t as organised as I thought it was, and which seemed to take itself for a walk between two computers, as Windows 10 got its head round the fact that poets don’t have the same attitude to grammar and syntax as other people—.
I also owe an even bigger debt to Sheila Wakefield, who has had more than her share of publication drama this summer, and has handled poetic meltdowns of various kinds with great kindness and humour.
I’d like to thank Marion McCready for her kind endorsement, which appears on the back cover:
This is a collection of finely observed gifts from the natural world crafted with care and an enviable flair for language. On every page Elizabeth Rimmer magnifies with colour and movement the landscape and small animal life which surrounds us. She approaches nature with a quiet spiritual awareness in contrast to her energetic use of language. This is not nature as passive observation; the landscape itself speaks and at times becomes a vehicle for myth and fairytale. These poems communicate beautifully with rich visual detail fused with a light lyrical touch.
Praise from Marion is praise indeed. Her first full collection Tree Language won the Melita Hume Poetry prize, in 2013, and her contribution to Our Real Red Selves published by Vagabond Voices (which I reviewed here) is outstanding.
And lastly, (at least for now) I’d like to thank Sally Evans, whose Callander Poetry Weekend this weekend will host the launch of The Territory of Rain – tonight! The generosity of Sally and her husband Ian, who host this gathering every year, giving space and time for an increasing number of poets to read and share the most diverse mix of poetry you could imagine (including some lavish and inventive meals, and charging none of us anything), is legendary. Fortunately, their bookshop is one of the best second-hand bookshops a poet could want, and a lot of us come home with way more books than we had intended!
Red Squirrel are holding a showcase event from 8-9pm in the bookshop (Main Street Callander), and launching some long-awaited collections tonight – Anne Connolly’s A Ravel of Yarns, and Chris Powici’s The Weight of Light and the collected poems of Sandie Craigie, a much-admired Edinburgh poet who died tragically young in the 19880’s. This has been a labour of love from Sally Evans, Sheila Wakefield and Kevin Cadwallender, and I can’t wait to hear it. If you can, do come. Listen to poems, buy books, hear some good music and meet some of the nicest and most interesting people you’ve ever met in your life!