My special guest today is, writer and poet, Raine Geoghegan. Raine has come along today to talk about her work and writing. Without further ado, it’s over to Raine.
Thank you Tricia for inviting me to write about my work and life.
My Work and Life
I have been re-reading my journals which I kept for a number of years and have come across an entry for Sunday 8 March, 2012. It reads:
‘A slow moving Sunday morning. I am sitting drinking white tea. Massenet’s Meditation from Thais is playing, a gentle flowing and deeply moving composition. My joints are sore and I am tired. My mind goes back to my Mother’s passing in 1996. This was a period in which I experienced many painful events, the onset of chronic illness and disability, as well as grief and divorce. “We did not come to remain whole; we come to lose our leaves like the trees. The trees that are broken and start again, drawing up from the great roots.” This beautiful quote by John Bly reminds me of our fragility and of our strength.
In 2012 I also wrote about both my excitement and my apprehension at the prospect of studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Some of my poems had already been published, but I wanted to take the next step, even though my health was not great. I am pleased to say that I did complete the MA and my Dissertation was based on my experiences of illness and disability, however in 2017 I began writing about my Romany Heritage. I worked with a mentor who encouraged me to use the Romani language (jib) and to research the ways of the Romany people. I had the good fortune of living with my Romany grandparents as a child, along with my mother and sister, following the death of my father, so I began to write about my memories and the rich characters that came and went. My granny, Amy, sold flowers and was a strong woman. She used to travel to Covent Garden on the train, taking her barrow with her.
‘She walks swiftly over Waterloo Bridge then onto Nine Elms market where she buys the freshest, most colourful loolladi. This is where she uses cunning to get what she wants, never paying the full price.’ (Loolladi – flowers). Up Early, ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog.’
My grandfather, Alfie, was gentle; he kept many animals and missed his old life, peg making and hop picking.
‘I used to love going into the woods, cuttin’ ‘azel rods to make the faida, wiv me little churi, the one me dad gave me when I was fifteen.’ (Faida – pegs; Churi – knife)
My first book ‘Apple Water: Povel Panni’ released in December 2018 was well received and chosen as a Poetry Book Society 2019 Spring Selection.
My second book ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog’ was released in December 2019 and is selling well.
Both books are published by Hedgehog Poetry Press.
I am soon to begin a tour around England and Wales performing work from both of these books and am thrilled that my husband Simon will be accompanying me on some of these readings. I am grateful for the support of family, friends and my publisher Mark Davidson.
Thank you, Raine for a fascinating read, and I’m sure my readers will agree. Good luck with the tour and do come back to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ and tell us all about it.
If you’d like to know more about Raine and her writing, why not purchase one of her poetry pamphlets. (Links listed below.)
Before I list the links for Raine’s books and social media details, let’s find out a little more about her.
About Raine Geoghegan
Raine Geoghegan, M.A. is a poet and prose writer of Romany, Welsh and Irish descent. Nominated for the Forward Prize, Best of the Net & The Pushcart Prize, her publications include: Poetry Ireland Review; Travellers’ Times; Ofi Press; Under the Radar. Her pamphlet, ‘Apple Water: Povel Panni’, was launched in December 2018 and was listed in the Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Selection. Her new pamphlet, ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog’ also published by Hedgehog Poetry Press in December 2019 is out now. Her work was featured in the film, ‘Stories from the Hop Yards,’ made by Catcher Media.
Social Media and Website links
Thank you for such a positive article, Raine. It’s inspiring to hear about your experience. Your poetry is inspiring too. I loved Apple Water: Povel Panni. A pleasure to read again and again.
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Thank you for commenting, Maureen. I’m sure Raine will be along too to thank you herself.
Thanks so much Maureen, how kind of you to take time to respond to my piece. I am thrilled that you enjoyed ‘Apple Water.’ ‘They Lit Fires’ is really a continuation with monologues, prose poems and songs. My next project is a collaboration with a brilliant artist combining her paintings with my words. Blessings. X
What wonderful material Raine has to draw on in her Romany background. I have read and enjoyed Apple Water. Compared to so many poetry publications the subject matter was entirely refreshing. (And that is not meant to be a pun!)
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Thank you for commenting, Gill. Raine certainly has produced wonderful material. If you enjoyed Apple Water then you’ll love her next pamphlet, ‘they lit fires: lenti hatch o yog. I know I did.
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Thank you Gill for your lovely comment. I’m so pleased that you liked ‘Apple Water.’ Good luck with your publication. Keep me posted. X
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