I’ve always loved poetry.
From old song lyrics to Shakespeare, Pushkin, the Beats and everything in between.
My ideas come to me in fleeting images, emotions and shapes on the page.
They come from dreams, nightmares and memories.
Sometimes they are too personal to share, more often I like how the words sound together or the shapes they make on the page, it’s all very intuitive. If it works there is always something that will bring me back, something I like or want to polish.
Writing over the years I have noticed many patterns, lessons life has whispered into my ear, I write them down as poems and they remind me of those brief moments of clarity in amongst the general rush and confusion of life.
Sometimes it’s an emotion or an image, something that strikes me or comes back to haunt me.
The ideas are like many people talking at the same time, every so often one will become louder and clearer than the others. I listen, remember, write it and it takes me to the heart of what I want to say.
After I finished compiling my first photography zine, A Sicilian Mosaic this past summer (2021) my poetry came to mind. I had written several Sicilian themed poems and I had wanted to do something with them.
During the lockdown, my work stopped, I was paralyzed by an initial fear of the unknown at the beginning of the pandemic. But eventually, I shook myself out of it by returning to my creativity.
Apart from writing, I also love art, reading and music. So I got out my sketchbook which had been put aside for years and revived my love of self-expression. It was my own personal therapy.
I’ve always sketched out my ideas, I love connecting concepts, thoughts and images. Back in high school, I covered my books with my collages which brought joy to me and my classmates. But as with most creative pastimes, this was set aside.
During the pandemic, I began to take some online courses, many of which are still to this day incomplete, as my concentration was pretty much gone. But one sparked my interest, it was about digital art and how to create it using an app called Procreate. So I gradually taught myself how to draw and make virtual collages on my iPad.
I designed some artwork that connected to my poems and gradually my poetry zine took shape. It seems so logical to share my poems with my blog audience who already were reading my content. So I made my zine Trinacria Poetry, which is a self-published book or magazine dedicated to my own personal interests to share with a small audience.
I collect many things, like postcards, photos, vintage magazines and stationery. I am particularly interested in my own personal family history. I’m currently researching my second book based on some fascinating ancestors of mine. I also wanted to use the material I have in my zine with my poems.
The poems are varied, some are dedicated to my Sicilian grandparents, others are inspired by Sicilian folklore, death, the nature of small Sicilian villages, my experiences while in Sicily and the landscape of the island.
There are ten poems, each accompanied by a collage that reflects the tone and subject of each poem.
My favourite poem, My Grandmother’s Eyes is dedicated to my maternal grandmother, Nonna Carmela. It is a personal reflection of when I had to leave her at the airport when I left to live in Italy. It moves its way through several links in the chain which connects me to Sicily, through her eyes, I witness her childhood tales of life in Sicily and come to terms with my new life on the island.
Click on the link above if you want to read the full poem and see my artwork which features my favourite black and white photo of my Nonna, which I absolutely treasure.
Both Sicilian Mosaic and Trinacria Poetry are currently available on Amazon.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.