It gives me great delight to introduce Brian McManus, a fellow Hedgehog Press hoglet, to ‘Patricia’s Pen.’ Brian is here to discuss his writing methodology so without further ado, it’s over to Brian.
My Writing Methodology
Neither I nor my family have any great background in writing although I recently discovered that my great grandfather was a poet who sent his poems home from the American west to where he had emigrated in the late 1800’s.
I dabbled with crime fiction for a short while but my interest in writing poetry stemmed from my involvement in a major negative life event, the Lockerbie Air Disaster with the loss of 270 lives in 1988. My reflections on that led to the publication of my book of poetry, prose and photographs – Blue Daze, Black Knights – the Story of Lockerbie thereafter, now sadly out of print.
There followed a long hiatus in writing again as the writing and publishing of my book was a sometimes painful and cathartic experience. I have always considered that in the dance of life emotion is the music and correspondingly much of my poetry is fuelled by emotion.
I picked up my pen again as the Covid storm broke across the world in early 2020 and settled that I wanted to address what I considered to be the egregious sense of ineptitude from Boris Johnston and his government and give a voice to the many hundreds, indeed thousands of people who had summarily been disenfranchised and suffered grievously, sometimes with their lives. My thoughts and reflections led to the publication of my poetry pamphlet Liar Liar by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in November 2020.
My writing process is a little convoluted but generally speaking the germ of an idea about which I want to write will occur to me, or indeed at times simply present itself to me, and then during the following days and weeks I will worry away at it until it takes the basic shape I am at least content with.
There follow many more weeks when I will edit and re-edit until I consider it’s fit for purpose but often something else will present itself to me and I edit or even rewrite once again. There comes a time when the poem almost speaks to me and says “right, enough, leave me alone now”.
I am constantly reminded of the words of the great poetic strategist Ezra Pound who always advised T.S. Eliot to ‘kill your darlings’, that being if you get to the stage where you consider yourself finished and very satisfied with your work it’s time to consider almost ripping it up and starting again.
I have a further volume of poetry slated for publication by The Hedgehog Poetry Press on 14th April 2021 – “Solastalgia” – where I hope to bring down the poetic veil on probably the most challenging time many of us have lived through.
There will be no hiatus for me this time. My research interests focus primarily on the decline of western civilisation and the prospect of an uninhabitable world due to rising temperatures and rising sea levels, and I already see several issues that I feel a compulsion to address through the medium of poetry.
About Brian McManus
Brian McManus is happily married and lives north of Glasgow with his wonderful wife. They have just celebrated a landmark wedding anniversary.
They have two grown up children of whom they are immensely proud and three lovely grandchildren.
Brian has stepped away from the world of work now but spent most of his days in public service and latterly in a senior leadership role with a major media company.
Most of his days are now spent reading and writing poetry, researching the subject matter to provide him with the material around which he writes.
Links to Books
Links to Social Media
Thanks so much for sharing this, Tricia. It is always fascinating the veil is lifted and we get a closer look at the poet behind the poetry. For those of us who do not write poetry, it seems like such a mysterious process and I am always intrigued to learn how different poets approach their task.
I’m so pleased you are finding these features fascinating, Mike. More poets to come.
Just wanted to post a big “thank you” to Tricia for inviting me on to Patricia’s Pen as one of her guests, and for the fabulous way in which she produced the resulting interview. It’s always great fun and a very worthwhile exercise collaborating with other writers in this way, I think we both – and the subscribers – get to learn a bit more about poets, poetry and the ways and means in which a poem or a piece of writing comes to fruition – so thank you again.
As you know Tricia I’m currently reading your “Taxus Baccata ” . I’m on my second reading now, as I like to delve into the nooks and crannies of poems and perhaps discover their little mysteries. I will drop you a line and let you know my detailed thoughts when I am finished, but suffice for the moment just to say that for anyone reading my comments please do yourself a huge favour and buy a copy of Tricia’s work. it is such comprehensively first-class poetry!
Best Wishes to all,
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Thank you Brian, it was a delight to feature you on Patricia’s Pen, along with your poetry pamphlet Liar Liar. Do come back soon.
Thank you for your lovely comments re Taxus Baccata. I’m sure you will agree, they are just the words that a poet loves to hear.