Neile Graham: Bridging Oceans With Rain
We are tremendously honoured to feature the poetry of Neile Graham this autumn. We first fell in love with her work two years ago, when we accepted "Dsonoqua Daughters" for our Spring 2009 issue; for the rest of the year we could not let an issue go by without at least one of her pieces, and encourage you to take a first or second look at "The Woman Giving Birth to Air," "True Thomas at Secret Cove," "Three Stone Row," and "Nightfall on Orkney: A Glosa."
Neile's poetry rouses a voice from the landscapes she observes, reads incantations spelled out in pine needles and cold air. Her work is full of layerings of call and response, movement and stillness; the dynamics are of root and rain, ocean and cliff; someone is always summoning or being summoned. We have certainly yet to escape her words' thrall, and can't see why we should even want to.
Neile Graham is a Canadian by birth and inclination, having grown up in B.C. and currently living in Seattle. That, in conjunction with her lifelong fascination with myth and folklore, has led to her working on a collection of poems about the mythic lore of Scotland and the Pacific Northwest, from which these poems are drawn. She has three previous collections of poetry: Seven Robins, Spells for Clear Vision, and Blood Memory, as well as a CD of her reading her work, She Says: Poems Selected and New. Her poems and stories have been published in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada. Her favourite fruits are the raspberries from her garden, which she annually combines with apricots and spices to make jam.
When asked for her opinion on the outcome of a cage-match between Sappho and William Shakespeare, she replied, "Ha! Though I would be rooting for them both, Sappho's direct, incisive lyricism would have the listeners melted before Shakespeare had finished laying out his sonnet traplines."
Learning My Way Around
The Bean-Sidhe Calls in Owl-Light
The Ones Outside Your Door
The Old Woman of the Moors Returns the Call
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