Thursday, 12 November 2009
A MAXIMUS MIRACLE IN GALWAY - WELCOME LIZ
I want you all to give a céad míle fáilte to the lovely Liz Gallagher who is stopping by for her Maximus Miracle book tour with her Salt-published poetry collection, The Wrong Miracle. Liz lives in Gran Canaria and in order to celebrate an Irish homecoming for her and The Wrong Miracle, Liz is offering a free copy of the collection (posted to anywhere in the world!) to readers of Women Rule Writer.
All you have to do, to be included in the draw, is mention the interview, book and draw on your blog and/or on Facebook and confirm that you have done so in the comments box here from today. (Or at TFE's blog from the 19th of Nov.). The draw will take place on the 25th of November over at Liz’s blog Musings.
All royalties from Liz’s collection go to SANDS, the stillbirth and neo-natal death charity.
So now, readers, pour that tea, grab that scone and pull up a chair.
N: First of all welcome to my blog, Liz, on your Maximus Miracle Virtual Tour with The Wrong Miracle. Many congrats on the new book – it is an inspiring read. This is my first ever bloggy interview and I’m delighted that you are my guest. So settle down there by the fire and prepare for some woman-centred questioning.
L: Nuala, thanks for the welcome and for having me here, it is a real pleasure, it's great being back here in Galway. I have fond memories of being here during the September heatwave. And now, in autumn, the cosy fire-side setting is ideal for some woman-centred questioning...fire-away!
N: Liz, some of your poetry reminds me of the work of Belfast poet Medbh McGuckian – specifically the surreal nature of many pieces in the book and also the linguistic acrobatics. Would you feel an affinity with Medbh? Are there other Irish women poets who inspire you?
L: I have read some of Medbh's work and like it a lot but must say that I haven't really explored an awful lot of her work....but will do so now out of curiosity...thanks. : )
Irish women poets whose work I know quite well and who would inspire me would be Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Leontia Flynn, Rita Anne Higgins and Mairead Byrne. I also really like Colette Bryce and when I first started reading poetry in the late 80's, I loved Sara Berkeley's work, especially Penn and Home Movie Nights...I haven't read her work in a long while though so not sure what I would think of it now.
N: Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How would you like people to feel on reading and/or hearing your poetry? And – a sneaky sub-question – who do you write for?
L: To answer your sub-question first, Nuala, I definitely start out writing for me – to amuse, surprise and entertain myself...and then when the honeymoon period of me and brand new poem is over...I try to look at it with fresh eyes in order to think of how it will fare on its own with other readers and without me on standby to defend it. It is at this stage that I take a close look at what is working or not working... I try not to lose what got me excited in the first place...there is a fine line between doing that and making a poem ready for others' consumption. So, essentially, I am aware of audience but that awareness doesn't come into play until after I have written the first draft or so.
Regarding how I'd like people to feel on reading/hearing my work, good question, Nuala...naturally, I'd like people to be able to 'click' with my poems, one of the really great things about doing the readings in Ireland during the summer was getting feedback from the audience and hearing them say that they could relate to what I was saying. I think there are a lot of emotions at play in my work and knowing that a reader or listener could maybe feel that emotion or a version of that emotion on hearing or reading the work would be very rewarding for me.
I'd also love for people to feel amused and surprised. Humour is important for me in my work and it's great when people 'get' that humour and read between the lines...
N: You are, obviously, an accomplished poet. Do you also write fiction? Who are your favourite female fiction writers?
L: Thanks, Nuala. I have written flash-fiction, 100, 150 and 200 word pieces and I've had some flash-fiction published in an Anthology by Guildhall Press titled: The Wonderful World of Worders edited by Jenni Doherty.
I have written some non-fiction pieces and have had some published. I would love to attempt to write a short story or two but have not yet had the discipline nor time to sit down and try it ….but maybe some day...
Some of my favourite female fiction writers, apart from yourself, Nuala, and Vanessa Gebbie, another Salt writer whose work I love, would be Zadie Smith, Monica Ali, Flannery O' Connor, Amy Tan, Anne Enright, Edna O'Brien and Marian Keyes...got to just love her humour and style.
N: Thanks so much, Liz, for your time and for stopping by at my blog. Good luck with the rest of the tour. Next week Liz will be at The People's Lost Republic of Eejit with the inimitable TFE.
L: Nuala, thanks very much for your hospitality and for such great questions which I thoroughly enjoyed answering. It's been fun. Hope to catch up with you again next summer!
Liz and baby Juno at Flatlake, summer 2009