Guest Feature – Gaynor Kane

It’s a delight to welcome back the lovely Gaynor Kane to Patricia’s Pen, and in particular because she has a fabulous new poetry collection to celebrate. Without further ado, it’s over to Gaynor.

The Inspiration Behind Writing ‘Eight Types of Love

Gaynor Kane

I’m very grateful to Patricia for having me back on her blog to chat about my next poetry pamphlet, Eight Types of Love.

It all started in May 2021 when The Hedgehog Poetry Press announced that the monthy challenge for ‘cult’ members (a subscription/membership scheme) was to write a wee pamphlet of poems that look at “Stories of Love”.  I started by researching ‘love’ and quickly discovered that the Ancient Greeks had classified love into eight specific categories Eros (sexual passion); Philia (friendship); Ludus (playful love); Agape (love for everyone); Pragma (longstanding love); Philautia (love of the self); Storge (family love); Mania (obsessive love).

Using these eight categories I began to write poems but if truth be told I didn’t have time to write 16 new poems. So, I looked in my folder and discovered some unpublished work on the theme. For example, I really wanted to include a poem that I wrote in January 2020 about bringing in the new decade with a friend who was still grieving from the untimely loss of her sister. My friends and I had a lovely night with her and her family, but it was tinged with sadness. Her mother had shown us a new bracelet she had which was engraved with her daughter’s fingerprint. That next morning a pigeon crashed into our landing window leaving a dusty imprint like a shadow of itself and it made me think about the marks we leave behind us.

Some of the categories were more difficult to respond to; like the obsessive love category. I’m very fortunate that I’m in a loving relationship so in order to respond to that I had to use my imagination. I have performed one of the poems from this section, entitled Stalker, at Flash Fiction Armagh – here is the video: Click HERE

You can read one of the poems from the Philautia (self love) section, here in the Black Nore Review.  I found this category challenging as well, as a women and a mother I realised that I often prioritise the care of others. Consequently, the categories on family love and selfless love were easier to respond to.

I was delighted when Mark Davidson, at The Hedgehog Poetry Press, announced that myself and Des Childs were joint winners. I was also lucky enough to receive some funding from the Arts Council for Northern Ireland which allowed me to engage in some mentoring services. I choose Dr Mary Montague as I had worked previously with her on my collection Memory Forest.  Mary was an incredibly generous mentor and suggested many edits to make the collection stronger. She also wrote a wonderful endorsement for the back cover (pictured below).

If this blog, or the blurb, has whetted your appetite pre-orders of Eight Types of Love open today and you could be the first to purchase!  Just click HERE.

The official release date is 30th July 2022. Thank you for reading.

About Gaynor Kane

Gaynor Kane (nee Carson) fell into writing accidentally. At forty, instead of buying a mid-life crisis sports car, she started a degree with the Open University. She finished her BA (Hons) in Humanities with Literature in 2016 with a module on creative writing. Since then, she has been widely published in journals and anthologies and listed, placed, and won, several poetry competitions. She is vice-chair of Holywood Writer’s Group and a member of Women Aloud NI. Gaynor also volunteers for EastSide Arts during their summer festival and also during the CS Lewis Festival.

Gaynor’s micro-pamphlet ‘Circling the Sun’, about the early aviatrixes, was published in 2018. Her pamphlet ‘Memory Forest’, about burial rituals and last wishes, was published in 2019. Gaynor’s debut full poetry collection, ‘Venus in pink marble’, is published in 2020. These books are all published by Hedgehog Poetry Press.

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