Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Annotated Poems of Carin Perron

The Annotated Poems of Carin Perron is now available as an Amazon Kindle e-book. You can preview it live by clicking on the cover on the left or the button below.  (I uploaded it on Saturday but the "look Inside" feature has yet to be enabled. It can take up to a week. The downloadable free preview for the Kindle readers is available now).

The poet Carin Perron (1957-2003) was a crafts-person of poetry and often spent many years to perfect a poem. Published in such prestigious journals such as Ariel: A Review of International English literature, she made history by winning first place in the Bournemouth International Festival poetry competition after placing third in the two previous years. She had entered the competition only those three times. To mark the event, the three prominent judges of those years gave her an additional prize of signed copies of one of their books. Her poem Anne (For Anne Morrow Lindbergh) was read to its subject on her deathbed in 2001 by a friend. It was one of the poems which had won a prize at the Bournemouth Festival.

More than a complete collection of poems, Carin includes many notes on her works including the stories behind the poems and even a short instructional essay on the very difficult poet form: the sestina. The rhyming example, The Room, was the poem published in Ariel. She always wanted to change people's perception of poetry and how it was taught. Many of the poems have not been previously published and she worked on the manuscript for this book entirely during her three-year chemo-therapy treatments for terminal breast cancer.

A true "Renaissance Woman", at that same time, she worked on designing and building the "Celtic Coin Index Online" for Oxford University: a database of more than 28,000 ancient British Celtic coins and, as a portrait artist, had started a project of painting several copies on Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa". Her two cancer poems present opposing views of the disease: one poignant; the other heart-warming.

As her husband of nineteen years, I promised that I would see her work through to publication but it has taken many years for me to feel up to this task and for that I must apologize to those who have waited long to see this book. I have also included additional annotations on several poems. The structure and section titles are as she had planned although I have included an additional poem that had never made it to the manuscript having been written not long before her death. I have also changed the order of two of the last three poems reserving the final place for the poem, Domestic Epiphanies about our family life at home which she had me read at her memorial service. The collection includes both structured and free verse forms and includes several poem cycles. Much of her work owes something to French poetic forms. I have included, as an appendix, her last autobiography.

My next e-book will be a reworking of two of my blog series: "Dean Crawford: Living among the Dobunni" and "In praise of metal-detecting". It will appear shortly. The following e-book project: "Jungian Archaeology" will take much more time to complete. I have published five e-books in the last ten months. This last one will soon show up on my Amazon Author Page:

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Saturday, 11 February 2017

Project completed and an important new one to start on Monday

All three volumes of The Gundestrup Cauldron: a new theory are now published:

1: Imagery, origin and date
2: Context
3: Symbols of Transformation

If you follow the links you will be redirected to your most local Amazon store to purchase.

On Monday, I am starting a new project: the complete and annotated poetry of my late wife Carin Perron (1957- 2003). She made history in poetry competition by placing in the top three positions three years in a row in the poetry contest at the Bournemouth International Festival (blind judging by three different British poets). In her first year of entry she tied for third place for Anne (for Anne Morrow Lindbergh). The judge, Sebastian Barker, said at the Adjudication that he found the poem "stylistically assured and deeply moving." The poem was also read to its subject, Anne Morrow Lindbergh on her deathbed by a close friend. The second year, she received the third place for Daughter The judge was Jeremy Hooker (no relation to me!). In her final year of entry she won first place for The Shadow. Not wishing to temp fate, she did not enter the competition again. The judge, that time, was Neil Curry. Carrie wrote about his decision:

"Neil Curry, the judge in 1993, said when he first read the poem, he thought it was okay, but nothing special. He put it in the pile to read again, rather than the reject pile, but it hadn't made that much of an impression on him. He found, though, that as he read other things, he kept thinking about it. When he found himself still thinking about it the next day, he thought he'd found the winner.

"It was great to have the poem appreciated at last (though when Chris Wiseman [her poetry instructor at the University of Calgary] first read it, he said, "I wish I'd written it," a comment I've never heard from him before or since). I guess there's some kind of lesson here, about persistence or something: or maybe about obsessive forms obsessing people, I don't know. Because I'd won something at Bournemouth for three consecutive years, the judges each sent me an autographed copy of one of their books of poetry, as a personal prize."
The book was being prepared by Carin Perron during the last three years of her life while she was fighting terminal breast cancer. Only one poem was yet to be added to the manuscript, one she had dedicated to me:  Trapeze à Deaux (for John, but I will be including it in the appropriate section (as the last poem in Turning Home). Almost all of the annotations will be hers, but I will be adding some extra information in editorial parentheses. I have decided, in her biographical information, to omit the identity and her account of her first husband (now deceased), because what she wrote would be likely to upset his relatives and friends. As the section devoted to the poems he inspired is titled The Anti-Muse, you may well understand why. In any failed marriage there are usually two very different accounts as to the reasons for such failure and I must be sensitive to that.

The book, which is yet to be titled (her file title was simply "Poetry Book" is divided into two sections: Four Muses and Poet without a Muse. Each part of which will consist of a number of poems. The structure is her own and will be as follows:

The Four Muses:

1. The Reluctant Muse (her friend, the potter John Chalke, 1940-2014)
2. The Byzantine Muse (another friend, Mark Joslin (1956 – 1996) who had worked at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Edmonton Art Gallery (now the Art Gallery of Alberta) and Latitude 53.
3. The Anti-Muse (her first husband).
4. The Hidden Muse (Death).

Poet Without a Muse:

1. A Tourist in People
2. Visions & Architecture
3. Turning Home

She had originally planned that all the notes would be at the end of the book, but as they are so much more than just the usual notes one finds in a book and have great historical narrative and even technical information about poetry. I have decided that each will follow its respective poem. People often do not read end notes and it was very important to her that readers and critics would not misunderstand her poetry as is so often done in the published works of other poets where such information is not present. Above all, she was a craftsperson and would often spend many years perfecting each poem before she would allow it to be published.

As might be understood, it has taken me fourteen years to become prepared to tackle this project. I cannot say, at the moment, how long it will take to complete, but I am hoping that it will be less than a month. I also have to design a cover.

John's Coydog Community page