Cover Reveal – We Wear the Crown – Lucy Heuschen

Check out this gorgeous cover for Lucy Heuschen’s upcoming poetry pamphlet with The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous?

“What do you do, after seeing firsthand the fragility of life? My answer was and is, to live better – to do better. To acknowledge and speak my truth.”

We Wear The Crown is the debut poetry pamphlet from Lucy Heuschen. We walk with Lucy through the aftermath of breast cancer; along the way we meet family members, doctors, consultants, nurses, talk with Marie Curie and dream of a-ha’s Morten Harket.

We Wear The Crown is a brave, moving journey towards healing and acceptance after a life-changing diagnosis.


Want to know more? Lucy is a guest on Patricia’s Pen 9th August 2022 – and she’ll be chatting about her brand new pamphlet. Don’t miss it!

Launch event at Cheltenham Poetry Festival (Online via Zoom) on 23rd August 2022!

Guest Feature – Kerry Darbishire

Patricia’s Pen is delighted to feature poet, Kerry Darbishire. Kerry has come along to tell readers what inspired her to write newly released poetry collection, Jardinière. Without further ado let’s go over to Kerry.

The Inspiration Behind Writing Jardinière

Kerry Darbishire

Many years ago a friend bought me a jardinière and ever since then it has graced our windowsill, and as each flower I collect from the garden fades, I drop in the spilled dried petals. It’s now brimful with the gatherings of spring, summer, autumn, winter, my children growing up, friends past and present and the landscape I have always lived in and love.

The poems in this collection have been written over many years not with any intent of a collection, until I realised they threaded together in a way that reflected all the memories gathered through the seasons and years and as the jardinière on my windowsill was full, it seemed the right time to put the poems in order. I commissioned my artist husband Stephen, to paint the cover to reflect the poems and the rest followed. When I felt it was ready to send out. I submitted to the Hedgehog Poetry Full Fat competition and was delighted to be a joint winner with Hélène Demetriades in 2021.

Going back to when Covid 19 struck the world, I had two choices, either retreat from poetry, cook and walk more, or throw myself further in to reading, learning and writing. I zoomed into workshops, readings and through these I’ve been inspired and met many wonderful poets from all over the world, and since I’ve been pleased to have poems placed in competitions, publish two pamphlets and see this third collection into the world.

I have many happy memories of growing up in a wooden house by a river in Cumbria, and now I’m very fortunate to still live in a wild place. I have access to the fell above our house and surrounding fields where most of my poetry is rooted.  The seasons are important to me as they dictate the way we live. For instance, having our own water supply from the fell, we have to be careful in the dry summer months. There were times in winter when the pipes would freeze. The arrival and leaving of swallows, hearing the first cuckoo and the lambs coming into the surrounding fields – all these things affect the way we think and live.

I’ve also had the privilege of collaborating with poet Kelly Davis on our pamphlet,  Glory Days, poems about motherhood from various aspects.

I read a lot of poetry, my bookshelves are never big enough. It’s always exciting to find new and older poetry I really like.

About Kerry Darbishire

Kerry Darbishire songwriter, author and poet lives in remote farmhouse in Cumbria where most of her poetry is rooted. Her first collection A Lift of Wings, 2014, her second, Distance Sweet on my Tongue, 2018, both with Indigo Dreams Publishing. Kay’s Ark, the story of her mother, published by Handstand Press in 2016. Her pamphlet A Window of Passing Light published by Dempsey and Windle in 2021, also Glory Days, a collaboration with poet Kelly Davis was published in 2021 by Grey Hen Press.

Her poems appear widely in magazines and anthologies including: Artemis, Mslexia, Birmingham Journal, Finished Creatures, The Alchemy Spoon, Envoi, Atrium. She has won or been shortlisted in several prizes including Bridport 2017.

To order any of Kerry’s books please contact her via Twitter or email using the links below

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Guest Feature – Joy M. Lilley

Something a little different today. Author, Joy M. Lilley has recently returned from a cruise and she was inspired by the sights in Italy that she wanted to share on Patricia’s Pen. Hope you enjoy.

Revelations

Joy M. Lilley

A recent trip away with my other half prompted the writing of this piece. We were on a long-awaited cruise. Cancelled twice because of Covid-19. The trip took us over 786 nautical miles from Southampton docks to Rome and back. We visited seven countries, including; The Vatican City, areas of Spain, France and Italy. It is two sightings in Italy I wish to focus on. The first being The Field of Miracles where we found The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the second, the Vatican City, sitting in the capitol, Rome. These two places made the most impression on me.

Pisa is in the Provence of Tuscany, Northern Italy. We headed to the Field of Miracles where the leaning tower sits, and lean it does. Although crowds visited that day we did not let it deter our fun as the sun shone with clear blue skies and we were glad of the exercise. Held within the same area stand two grand structures made in part of the famous Italian marble. They all exude grandeur. The cathedral in the picture stands to the left of the tower on entering the complex. (You enter from the far end of this scene.)

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa’s main tourist attractions are The Leaning Tower Cathedral, Baptistery and Campo Santo. All are close together and comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pisa Cathedral is a medieval Roman Catholic one. It is the oldest of the three structures in the Plaza. It’s construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092. The photo gives you an idea of just how much the tower leans, you can also see the Cathedral behind.

The Vatican City

The second stop in Italy was Rome. We took a trip to the Vatican city, the smallest country in the world, and walked from our coach to St. Peter’s Square. The photograph below shows its lovely architecture within the square and looking straight ahead you can see a window (slightly to the right of my head) where the pope stands to give his Sunday message which unfortunately we just missed.

We regret not having enough time to visit the museums or the cathedral due to long queues. Within the square stands a glorious sculpture dedicated to migrants named Angels Unaware. It is a boat cast in bronze by the Canadian artist, Timothy P. Schmalz, depicting 140 migrants ranging from a Jewish man escaping Nazi Germany to a Syrian refugee fleeing the civil war. The boat faces in the direction towards St. Peter’s Basilica. The statue depicts the inclusion of every migrant experience over the centuries. Humanity has always experienced migration it is also Inclusive of all races, cultures and religions. The 20-foot sculpture is the most awe inspiring piece. The artist was influenced by the passage:-

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

I was profoundly affected, not just by the amazingly beautiful Vatican city but this bronze cast statue, reminding me of the migrants fleeing countries and suffering conflict today.

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Has Joy’s piece inspired you to write something about these wondrous sights? A poem or story?

Let’s find out a little more about Joy.

About Joy M. Lilley

Joy M. Lilley is the pen-name of Joy Gerken. Joy has been writing seriously since 2013. She has published eight books and is soon to publish two more short stories. A number of short stories and articles have been published in British magazines. Interesting writings can be found in her blog.

Her writing journey began after she retired for a life time career in the world of healthcare where she was a trained nurse for almost fifty years. Joy is married and lives in Kent. She is a mother to four children, grandmother to six, and great grandmother to four.

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Guest Feature – Peter A

I’m delighted to welcome a fellow Hedgehog Poetry Press poet to Patricia’s Pen. Peter has come along to chat about his poetry pamphlet. Without further ado, it’s over to Peter.

My Writing

Peter A

As I sit down to write a few words for Patricia’s Pen I begin by considering these two ‘books’.

The first, a school science notebook in which I scribed in my neatest handwriting several poems composed between the ages of 14 and 17, my ‘first collection’. Some were lyrical and romantic, influenced by Shakespeare and Keats. Others – political, experimental, existential, idealistic. Frankly, in retrospect very few of my juvenilia had any true quality but some of the themes continue to crop up in my writing several decades later.

The second is my genuine authorial debut, a 22-poem chapbook Art of insomnia published exactly one year ago by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, now available in a revised re-print (five poems having undergone minor but significant surgery). When originally published, lockdown prevented an in-person launch so it is gratifying that I’ll be able to promote the reprint at a number of festivals this year. I also appreciate the wonderful coincidence that this blog appears here on the anniversary of the original publication.

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Those who have reviewed my chapbook are more articulate than I in describing its content. I have until now found that sort of objectivity more difficult because it was so unplanned and unwanted. It was after all an automatic response to my wife’s unexpected death, something I simply had to do therapeutically in an attempt to cope with grief and find a way to face a very different future.

Three years on from my darling Helen’s passing, though Art of Insomnia remains for me a personal expression of love, grief and future positivity, I am finally able to view it more objectively as a work of poetry. I am now able to enjoy with appropriate humility the surprising comparisons certain reviewers or commentators have made to works of Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare, as well as the more obviously relevant Douglas Dunn’s Elegies, when describing some of the content and varieties of writing style which appear within my little chapbook.

Having undergone such an elemental outpouring in giving life to my debut work, some of you may wonder whether I have anything left in my poetic locker.

As you would expect I have continued to contribute individual poems to anthologies. Further, during lockdown I wrote new work on an almost daily basis and have continued in a similar fashion in the more recent period of freedom. It is now necessary to impose the discipline of looking at hundreds of drafts, editing, rejecting and selecting fearlessly.

During the next 18 months, I wish to publish a further chapbook and a first full collection. The material is all there; I simply have to get it into shape. Accordingly, you may expect to encounter me at workshops based around good writing practice and habits.

About Peter A

Peter A is a prize-winning Scottish writer, mainly of poetry, whose work has appeared online, in film poems, sound installations, podcasts and paper publications including Laldy, Spindrift, Poems for Grenfell Tower, A Kist of Thistles, Dove Tales Scotland anthologies A Kind of Stupidity and Bridges or Walls, several Dreich (Hybrid Press) publications, and the Civic Leicester anthologies Black Lives Matter – Poems for a New World and Poetry and Settled Status for All. His debut chapbook Art of Insomnia was published in 2021 and was nominated for the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award.

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Guest Feature – Karen Mooney

Today I’m delighted to feature poet, Karen Mooney, who is a fellow poet with The Hedgehog Poetry Press. Karen has come along to Patricia’s Pen to talk about her pamphlet, Missing Pieces.

Thank you, Patricia, for the opportunity to provide an insight into Missing Pieces

Missing Pieces

Karen Mooney

I was equally delighted and terrified when Mark Davidson, Editor of The Hedgehog Poetry Press, offered me the opportunity to have a poetry pamphlet. I confess to having dragged my feet through a lack of confidence, and it may never have happened but for the repeated interventions and encouragement of Gaynor Kane, with whom I co-wrote Penned In, which was published in 2020. 

I’m a latecomer to this writing thing without any formal training unless, of course, I go back to English classes at school, but that’s in the dim and distant past. And on leaving school, I entered local government as a clerical officer; took advantage of part-time education in business studies and human resources, only to retire early due to ill health in 2013 after 32 years of memo, policy and report writing. Not an ideal foundation for creative writing triggered by a life-changing event; my father’s death.

In coming to terms with his death, I reflected on the past, realising that growing up in the era of children being seen and not heard, other circumstances of loss hadn’t actually been addressed. Some had never been spoken of, but stiff upper lips can soften in time. In essence, the pamphlet marks some stepping stones of my life, many of which may resonate with others.

It deals with loss; a baby sister, a school chum, my mother, marriage, miscarriage, father, love, but it has a happy ending. It’s also a recognition that there is a beginning with every end.

I’m delighted to have had some compliments on the book cover as I designed it myself. It’s based on a photograph I took of the sun setting over Strangford Lough. I manipulated the image to represent kintsugi’s gold lustre, which happens to be the final poem.

All proceeds from signed copies will be donated to Marie Curie, the UK’s leading end of life charity. Why? Because endings matter.

Fancy a signed copy and helping Marie Curie – a little taster of what you can expect from Missing Pieces. This is one of the most poignant poetry pamphlets I have read. Have your tissues ready.

Still not convinced? Read Damien B Donnelly’s review on Eat the Storms – if I didn’t already have a copy I’d be racing to get one. A great gift – a great keepsake – and not only that you will be helping Karen’s most deserving charity – Marie Curie.

Order your signed copy from Karen NOW – via Twitter or Facebooksee details below

Order your signed copy from Karen via Twitter or Facebook and help raise money for Marie Curie

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Guest Feature – Angela Johnson

It is a delight to introduce author, Angela Johnson, a fellow Swanwick writer, to Patricia’s Pen for the first time. Angela has come along to chat about her novel, Arianwen. Without further ado, it’s over to Angela.

Arianwen

Angela Johnson

I believe that when we write we search conscious and unconscious memory as well as freeing the imagination to wander the byways of human existence, I was encouraged to write from a very early age, compelled by a belief in the huge power of language. I come from a community with a strong tradition of story-telling, and poetry was everyday as breathing, and ordinary working men were experts at the traditional form of cynghanedd: a strict verse form.

Arianwen published by Black Bee Books is the story of a woman who deems herself very ordinary, yet through the turbulent course of her life we see that she is a remarkable woman ,a woman whose life ends prematurely in the most violent and cruel fashion,. Brought up in relative comfort in the secret valley of dark trees and the beautiful old mill, she spends her formative years lodging in two very different households, then trains to be a teacher and goes to work in a North Pembrokeshire village. Her first marriage ends in tragedy and, ultimately, through the power of music, community and friendship she learns to live again.

We see how others depend on her quiet strength and pragmatism, her kindness and her empathy, and her gradual questioning of women’s place in society. The novel is also a portrayal of a changing society where the age-old certainties are threatened by new ideas, and communities are evolving in unexpected ways, and the Welsh language is under siege.

The novel is a tribute to those whose lives were enslaved by the demands of the agricultural life, the resilience of the human spirit, and the way in which human contact and friendship sustains us.

Not all my writing is set in Wales. I live close to the North Kent marshes, bleak and beautiful, where Dickens set Great Expectations. The marshes are inspirational with always changing colours and diffused light, the water reflecting the moods of the seasons. I am inspired by Nature and love to watch birds, mystified by their strange freedom. I like wild flowers and looking for rare orchids on the Kent Downs in Spring and Summer. All these are nourishment for the writer’s imagination, as are faces and actions and conversation, and the infinite complexity of human nature.

About Angela Johnson

Angela Johnson was born in West Wales, and grew up in Newcastle Emlyn, a small market town on the banks of the River Teifi. Welsh was her first language, and the language of her family, and in her writing about Wales there is a  conscious  echo of the rhythms of her language even though she writes in English. The landscape of her childhood is portrayed in  ‘Arianwen’.as  are the memories of the stories she heard in an enclosed commnuity.

She attended the local grammar school, and was encouraged to write by an inspirational English teacher, and in turn became an English teacher herself after studying in Swansea, and later in London. Her experiences as a teacher play an important role in a recently completed novel.

After teaching in colleges and schools in North Kent she chose to study Creative Writing at the University of Kent and was awarded a Distinction.

Her novel ‘Harriet and her Women’ was shortlisted for the Impress Prize for Fiction and she was also shortlisted for the H.E. Bates Memorial Short Story Prize for her story ’George and the Dragon’  She has also won poetry competitions.

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House of Grace – first book in the enthralling family saga trilogy

House of Grace is on a Kindle Countdown Promotion. If you haven’t read it yet then this is the perfect time to give it a go and see if the trilogy is for you.

What one recent reader said

“I was completely captivated by House of Grace by Patricia M Osborne. The characters really resonated with me – they were so real! The story itself is beautifully plotted and flows seamlessly. I was immediately drawn in to Grace’s story, and her emotional journey. Grace and Jack and their trials and tribulations made my heart hurt!! I couldn’t put this book down – I had to keep reading, and for me, that is the sign of a great story. The satisfying ending left me wanting to know more – so part II is a must-read for me! Highly recommended.”

Read more reviews and order via Amazon Kindle for 99p/99c – Limited offer. Grab a bargain while you can.

Click HERE to download for 99p/99c – FREE with Kindle Unlimited. Also available in paperback.

Line up for the Summer Season

Patricia’s Pen has been taking a short break but we’re back next week for a Summer Season of fun with lots of guest features.

Kicking off from next week:

Novelist – Angela Johnson

Poet – Peter A

Novelist -Joy Gerkin

Novelist – Judith Barrow

Poet – Mary Ford Neal

Poet – Pratibha Castle

Poets – Kerry Derbishire and Kelly Davis

Poet – Lucy Heuschen

Poet – Anna Saunders

and more guest features to follow

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If you are a writer, either novelist or poet, with a published book and would like to be considered for a slot on Patricia’s Pen from October 2022 onwards, please contact me via the online contact form HERE


Requirements for Guest Feature:

300-500 words on writing in first person (writing can be writing in general or specifically about a book/series)

50-100 words author bio in third person

Jpg pic of books

jpg pic of you

links to buy books

links to find you on social media/website

this all needs to be provided at least two weeks prior to your given slot.

Why not follow the blog so you never miss a feature?

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Sherry & Sparkly raises money for Cancer Research UK

Cancer touches us all in one form or another and it is for this reason that Maureen Cullen and I decided to use our sale proceeds from Sherry & Sparkly (published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press) to donate to Cancer Research UK. We started fundraising in January 2022 and to date we have donated £385 to the charity in memory of our sisters, Heather and Bernie, who lost their battle to cancer.

We still have a few copies left. Proceeds from any future copies sold (via this website) will go to Cancer Research UK.

READ Nigel Kent’s review HERE – and if you fancy ordering a limited edition copy use the link below and order safely via PayPal.

ORDER YOUR LIMITED EDITION COPY HERE

Sherry & Sparkly makes a perfect keepsake


Please note that proceeds to Cancer Research only apply to copies sold via Maureen Cullen or myself – not orders on Amazon.