I’m delighted to invite Damien B Donnelly, fellow poet and hoglet of Hedgehog Poetry Press ‘The Cult of the Spiny hog.’ I’m particularly delighted to have Damien here as part of the launch for his beautiful pamphlet Eat the Storms .
Damien has come along to talk about Eat the Storms published by Hedgehog Poetry Press on 17th September 2020. How exciting is that? I’ve heard some of Damien’s poems and I can tell you now that readers are in for a treat. Eat the Storms is receiving fantastic reviews which are well deserved. Damien not only writes beautiful poetry but has a wonderful voice to listen to when he performs his poems. Without further ado, let’s go over to Damien.
Eat the Storms is a collection I wanted to assemble in order to see light in the darkness and find a balance and an acceptance between them both.
I wanted to bring together a collection of moments that could not be held for long, grains of sand that trickle through our hands while capturing the beautiful fragility of our fall, a selection of sensory songs that expose this fragility, not as something weak or wearisome, but as our weapon, to go down into the darkness in order to reveal how colour can exist there too, to sing of holding both light and shade together, as one, in order to release us from the claws of crazy.
‘Eat the storms… she said,’ in order to ‘…boil back those beds of bitter blackness.’
I wanted to bring the reader on a journey, starting with a soft moon on a sun-drenched beach, a blazing white light like a blank canvas of possibility and, from there, add colour to that emptiness, incorporating both light and shade, a journey that required all senses at once; to test the running water of the riverbed with your tongue, to hear the pout of a ruby red lip while slowly exploring what happens when colour gives in to shadow, when shade threatens fragility as we are faced with our own fears before bringing us back again into the light, seeing that same fragility as our force and not our failure, while holding hope in place of time that can never be held.
I wanted to imagine being able to find a way to paint behind the light, to add breath to all that is unbearable so as to swallow the truth and release the lies we stuff into the cracks of the canvas. I wanted to draw life as a riverbed, cutting its path over rough rock and soothing soil, capturing colour for an instant before it passes on to the next connection, curve, crash, to see ourselves as the roaring wave, rising for a magical moment, and not just a silent witness to the rushing water. I wanted to be able to confess to capturing colour without being called crazy because I was willing to lean in and lick the honey off a purple petal…
‘…but it takes time to swallow the truth and teach the tongue to taste the rain.’
Damien, 45, Dublin born, returned to Ireland in 2019 after 23 years in Paris, London and Amsterdam, has been writing since childhood, poetry and short stories questioning identity, sexuality and fragility. His daily interests revolve around falling over and learning how to get back up while baking cakes.
He’s been featured in ‘Second Chance’ Original Writing, ‘Body Horror’ Gehenna & Hinnom, ‘Nous Sommes Paris’ Eyewear Publishing and The Runt Magazine. Online, he’s been featured in Black Bough Poetry, Coffin Bell, Scribe Base, Barren Magazine and Holding It Together, Apart. His debut poetry collection is published by The Hedgehog Press.
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