Poet April 2016: Danilo Breschi

Poets’ Corner is pleased to introduce Danilo Breschi as the Poet of the Month April 2016.

During the month of April poet Danilo Breschi will share a collection of poems on Poets’ Corner, in which the relationships and transitions are explored in a philosophical style. Danilo’s work echoes the words of Leonard Cohen: “Children show scars like medals. Lovers use them as secrets to reveal. A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.” Through his poems Breschi tries to understand what is behind every scar that marks the passage of time over the life of each of us.

Even though Danilo has published many academic texts throughout his career, he feels that this ‘understanding of scars’ is only possible through poetry, because it is the link between bodies and souls. Danilo: ‘Making the journey that poetry entails, you will discover the true meaning of each scar. This not only indicates wounds healed, but the healing process that each poem aspires to be considered as an act of resistance to nothingness and evil, evidence of something that, nevertheless, persists in us, over us.’

In his everyday life Danilo is Professor of History of Political Thought at Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma (UNINT), and he has published many articles and books on history, philosophy and political theory, such as, for example, “Journal of Modern Italian Studies” and “Filosofia politica”. Danilo is an aspiring poet, who has shared some of his poetry through Congiunzione carnale, astrale e relativa (2004); La Cura del Tempo (2005); Cicatrici e altre incarnazioni (2015).

Danilo is looking forward to sharing his work with a wider audience through Poets’ Corner. Please generously share your feedback with him.

penny reid poet artist

Poet February 2016: Pen Reid

Guest Poetry Curator Tom Crompton introduces Pen Reid as the showcased poet of the month February on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

This month, Poets’ Corner will share a beautiful collection of poems, celebrating the love of a family for their husband and father who is living with Multiple Sclerosis. Pen: ‘I am primarily a visual artist and have been writing poetry for only two years. It has been a challenge to find a way through the degeneration of my husband from progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Poetry has provided me with a voice to express the unspeakable.’

Pen’s work is breathtakingly beautiful, intimate and delicate. Guest Curator Tom describes: ‘Pen’s poems give off this big feeling of love, which you only actually get by accident, bumping or slipping over it. In this sense, Pen’s work is prayerful—’ Stay with your father’s degeneration/and know love lives not in the physical’—and for me that’s a great place to be writing poetry from.’

Please generously share your feedback with Pen.

POET DECEMBER 2015: SEEMA JAYARAMAN

Guest Poetry Curator Ciarán Hodgers introduces Seema Jayaraman as the showcased poet of the month December on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

 Ciarán: I am happy to publish Seema as Poet of the Month December. A mother of two and IT professional Seema’s story tells us that we can allow ourselves to be a poet in whatever capacity we choose, as well as showing the diversity and graft a poets life can demand. Seema found herself moved after September’s mass media coverage of the refugee crisis and this is what I believe in her the most. She’d put herself on hiatus, tackling family and professional life head on but when the world shook her, she responded after twenty years of having not written creatively. Her experience shows us how life isn’t a linear progression, nor should it be, and that we should write authentically, when we are moved to.

Seema: ‘When last month all TV channels were busy bombarding the pictures of a small baby washed up ashore as an aftermath of middle-east refugee crisis I found myself writing out a poem titled A Father’s Grief, as a mark of deep anguish on behalf of humanity after a hiatus of nearly 20 years. Since then I find myself scribbling away and have raked up nearly 50 poems together both my old ones and ones written in September 2015. I felt the need to expand my horizons and chanced upon Poets’ Corner.’

According to Ciaran, ‘Seema writes with a naturalistic, lyrical style that is both engaging and surprising. Her work on the page begs to be read aloud which is a testament to how carefully crafted and accessible her imagination is. I enjoyed reading these poems, which was more like listening – they played out in my mind full of sound and senses. Her work hearkens to a romantic tradition, drawing on landscape and nature but her craft is a contemporary one.’

Based in Mumbai, India, Seema draws inspiration from all around, having travelled throughout her life: ‘Being an Airforce child I have travelled extensively within India too absorbing India’s myriad hues and cultures. Thanks to my career in IT, I was able to travel to many international locations and experience far off cultures and scenic beauties to my full.’

As the featured poet of December, Seema will share a collection of old and newer poems.

darius noel poet new york poets corner

POET NOVEMBER 2015: DARIUS NOEL

Guest Poetry Curator Alison Solomon introduces Darius Noel as the showcased poet of the month November on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Alison: ‘Darius’ poetry spoke to me from off the page as every line, word and syllable seems to come from a place of honesty, truth, understanding and maturity that makes his poetry exciting to read. His subject matter is so varied, yet because of his unique use of sentence structure and words, his body of work is very much a beautiful, unified collection of poems. I am so pleased to welcome Darius as our November Poet of The Month.’

Darius Noel is a poet from New York (USA), who writes poetry from a very personal angle: ‘When I write I really like to put my heart on the paper. I get really personal when I write because I feel as if that’s how poetry is supposed to be; intimate. I take from my surroundings, write my opinions on them. I like to write in a thought-provoking way, while keeping it personal. I’m not really straight forward when I write. I want people to interrupt my writings and to understand where I coming from.’

Darius always had an interested in poetry, but he started writing poetry in his senior year in high school, encouraged by his teachers: ‘My teachers always told me that I have a higher than average vocabulary and unique sentence structure so they published my poems in the Senior Poetry Book. Ever since then I’ve been writing. It always fascinated me how certain words in a certain order can invoke so much emotion. The biggest influence for me to start writing poetry was Saul Willams. His genius amazed me.’

As the featured poet of November, Darius will share a collection of poems on various themes. Darius concludes: ‘I’m kind of new to getting my poetry out there and I am eternally grateful for Leaveners allowing me to get my foot in the door and feature my writings on their ‘Poet’s Corner’.’

Please generously share your thoughts feedback with Darius.

POET OCTOBER 2015: BEN ARMSTRONG

Guest Poetry Curator Alison Solomon introduces Ben Armstrong as the showcased poet of the month October on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Alison: ‘I chose Ben’s poetry, because it is very descriptive and naturalistic. I specifically enjoy the clever use of line breaks in the poems, and the rhythms in the poems.’

Ben Armstrong is a poet from the Black Country who aims to bridge the gap between the hyperreal and the surreal with his evocative and dynamic pieces. Ben: ‘In my poetry I aim to weave together colourful imagery and dark undertones to create Lynchian pastiches as beautiful as they are disorientating. Poems are often complex puzzles to solve [or not], riddled with unconventional language, jarring line breaks, footnotes and hidden meanings, with full collections supporting themes and characters across multiple works in Chinese whispers.’

‘A preoccupation with life, death and various ways of living [dead or otherwise] emerges as a key element of all my writing as Beckett’s nihilism clashes heads with the transformative and life-affirming verse of Wordsworth and the romantics. This fascination with the way we live is the fabric which stitches together the vast landscape of surreal and disconcerting imagery, the message that we as people are the lens through which the world can exact its influence.’

As Featured Poet of the Month for October on Poet’s Corner, Ben will be debuting pieces from his collection “…perennial”, a culmination of twenty four months of work which took him to seaside locations, vast open spaces and on spiritual journeys in search of meaning. The collection is characterised by its bizarre take on travel writing – it itself is an island memoir of dramatic proportions – which twists and turns through fragments of a life both lost and found in the oceans’ wilderness.

Ben: “Rules are imagination’s limits”

Please generously share your feedback with Ben, by commenting on the poems.

POET AUGUST 2015: Clive S. Johnson

Guest Poetry Curator Pete Stones introduces Clive S. Johnson as the showcased poet of the month August on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Pete: ‘Clive’s his work has a raw timeless quality. With a style reminiscent of Keats and Mervyn Peake, Clive’s highly evocative works capture the imagination and challenge the reader. His works confirms my belief that a single line of poetry is as powerful and memorable as an entire novel.’

Clive: ‘What, for me, is poetry? Well, it’s certainly a journey, a journey of the mind, of the soul and the heart, a journey from my inner self to the very outer limits of what my life has so far, in my sixth decade, set before me.  But for poetry to be poetry and not merely prose, it must also be music: that begetter of all languages. It therefore needs to take advantage of alliteration, of rhyme and meter; it must scan in such a way as to draw the reader in so they lose themselves completely to the poem’s own sensual song.  Only then can a poem really live.

And so, how do we measure whether a poem be truly alive?  A successful poem is one that draws the reader back, time and again, on each occasion offering new depth of meaning, a fresh perspective on the familiar, a reminder of things perhaps once felt but somehow long since lost.

For this to work, poetry must be honest: true to the poet’s sensibilities, beliefs and experience, and be expressed in such a way that each and every word, every letter, carries a greater weight of deliberation.

Although I’ve dabbled in verse all my life, for its own sake and woven into my novels, it’s only recently that I’ve set a serious mind to expressing myself through poetry’s fascinating demands of concision, nuance and precision, something I hope you’ll now find to your liking.’

Clive is a published author of novels such as ‘An Artist’s Eye’ and ‘Leiyatel’s Embrace’, but has not yet publicly shared his poetry. Please generously share your feedback with Clive!

Poet July 2015: Elden Morrow

Guest Poetry Curator Patrick Sarsfield introduces Elden Morrow as the showcased poet of the month July on Leaveners’ ‘Poets’ Corner’.

Patrick: ‘Elden’s poems are beautifully crafted portraits of particular and individual scenes from life. The images he uses are perceptive and unique. I’m looking forward to sharing his work on the blog, and I’m certain you will enjoy reading it.’

Elden: ‘Poetry has always been my favoured form of writing, I’ve always loved its ability to express strong, genuine emotions in such a small space: a testament to what the English language, and indeed any language is capable of.

In a lot of my writing I strive to produce a very specific image, feeling or just an impression of a sole character: writing about anything that strikes me in day-to-day life. Ideas of British class fascinate me, and often I use my poetry to explore the ideology of class.

For me, poetry is not a high-brow art form or something to be enjoyed by only the few. It should be fun, friendly and accessible to all who read it. It is my belief that poetry should be written in terms that all can understand, and if not understand, but all can gain an impression of what it is about and enjoy it.

Poetry is my favourite hobby, and I was thrilled and grateful to hear that Leaveners have chosen to feature my work on their ‘Poets’ Corner’.’

Elden currently studies English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham. Please generously share your feedback with Elden, by commenting on the poems.

Update: Elden’s poems are no longer accessible through this platform. If you wish to be in contact with Elden to read his work, please contact him through Poets’ Corner.