I’m delighted to welcome back writer, Helen Laycock, to Patricia’s Pen. Helen is a poet, children’s author, and flash fiction writer, but today she’ll be chatting about her poetry. Without further ado, it’s over to Helen.
Thank you, Patricia, for inviting me on to Patricia’s Pen!
I always think writers are blessed with not one life, but many. What an absolute privilege to be able to visit so many places, and to meet so many characters, all of which, and whom, reside just up there… *points to head*
Creator, architect, conductor, it’s not just a matter of typing words. Words are merely bricks, but arranged just so, writers can build any structure, embellishing it with metaphor, compromising its integrity with emotion or danger, or twisting its corridors into labyrinthian cul-de-sacs. They can thrust a reader into unique and unforgettable experiences, and the joy is that we go there, too, and emerge safe and enlightened.
Words (plus the essential mortar of space and format) also build poetry. Poetry, however, seems to be much more anchored to truth than fiction and, as such, can be affecting and impactful in a deeply personal way.
When I compiled my poetry collection Frame, as much as the scenarios of people living on the periphery were in my head, the reality of their situations was undeniable. In this collection, I did allow them to fall, by visiting themes such as orphaning, abuse, bullying, and the psychological issues which continue into teenage and adult life after such difficult beginnings, touching on such areas as anorexia, unwanted pregnancy, depression and suicide. A lot of the feedback I have had has, understandably, been via private messaging. Being human is complex and taxing, and so many of the areas I explored were familiar to those reading the poetry.
Poetry can also be uplifting, and as an antidote to Frame is Breathe, poetry which encompasses the natural world. I like to balance my writing, perhaps to always have a light on in the corner of my mind.
13 is a collection of, quite simply, 13-word poetry which captures the fleeting nature of life, about which has been kindly written:
‘Highly imaginative and beautifully crafted, Helen’s 13 brilliantly spans an absorbing variety of thoughts, themes, and viewpoints in the compact space of just 13 words’.
Such a fun challenge, and proof that you don’t always need to say a lot to say a lot!
Many of Helen’s poems can be purchased as postcards at Pillar Box Poetry and her website Conjuring Marble into Cloud showcases my work.
About Helen Laycock
Helen Laycock’s writing encompasses poetry, microfiction, flash fiction, short stories, plays, and children’s novels.
Former recipient of the David St. John Thomas Award, and nominee for the Dai Fry Award, Helen has been an occasional competition judge and a lead writer (Visual Verse). Her poetry has featured in an art exhibition, and her collection Frame has beenBook of the Month at the East Ridge Review.
Poetry, prose, and children’s stories have been published in various anthologies and magazines and in 2019 her piece of flash fiction was longlisted with Mslexia.
What a delight to learn more about Helen!
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It certainly is, Merril. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.