Monday, 19 October 2020
Sunday, 18 October 2020
Sunday, 11 October 2020
Interview with Laura Jan Shore, author of Afterglow
You went through a traumatic event when it came to losing your husband. How important do you think poetry was in helping you through this process?
After the loss of my husband, it was reading poetry that brought solace and connection. I noticed many of my friends and family didn’t know what to say to comfort me. Our culture does not offer a container to support those experiencing grief. Other people’s poems gave me permission to find language to express my own feelings.
- What prompted you to respond through poetry?
Writing a poem is a process of discovery. Articulating what I felt or what I remembered deepened as I worked the craft. I explored a variety of ways to say it in a condensed form, to get at the essence of it.
- Have you been in contact with people who have experienced similar tragedies and resonated with the way you have handled grief and loss in your book?
Yes, I’ve had feedback from other women who’ve experienced the weird reality of being a widow in a society that no longer names this or has a cultural place for it.
- Did your husband’s death change the way you responded to him in your poetry? Did you feel closer to him in the poetry written after his death than before?
When I wrote poems about him while Anand was alive, he would give me feedback and suggestions. Not a writer himself, he enjoyed having me write about him. After he died, I felt his presence and heard his input.
- Would you recommend writing as a means of coping for people who have lost a significant other?
Absolutely. Journaling is an amazing resource for working through the waves of grief. It’s a way to keep the loved one alive by remembering and a way to give voice to the pain of loss. Whether that writing remains private or later becomes the seed of a more polished form, the process is invaluable.
- Do you think his memory will continue to inspire you to write?
I find I am frequently addressing Anand as I write. It is a way to continue our conversations.
- If your husband were still alive, how do you think he would respond to the book?
I believe he would be proud of the book and grateful to me for writing it. He was always transparent about his own shortcomings and psychological challenges so I know he would have appreciated my efforts to describe these, in hopes that it might help someone else.
- What is next on the horizon for you, Laura? Any upcoming projects?
I’ve another poetry collection with the working title, Ripening, that I’m still compiling. It is about growing older in chaotic environmental times, bearing witness to species loss and cultural upheaval in parallel to personal loss and physical deterioration.
— Laura was interviewed by Lauryn Garrard, Assistant Editor, IP, in October 2020
Laura's previous book with IP is Water Over Stone
Sunday, 2 August 2020
Saturday, 1 August 2020
Monday, 27 July 2020
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
A special update
Friday, 5 June 2020
Calling all "self isolating" artists (& others)
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
The trailer for our new picture book — Belinda Blecher (author) and Lisa Allen (illustrator):
Saturday, 28 March 2020
A message from Dr David Reiter, CEO / Publisher, IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)
Stay tuned as we dance between COVID-19 droplets for the weeks and months to come.
With so many businesses standing down employees, public events being cancelled and so many people retreating indoors with only the Internet as a lifeline to the outside world, it's hard to be optimistic about the future.
But there will be a future, though the shape of it post-pandemic is somewhat uncertain from the perspective of this bad dream that is the present.
Poets will continue to write, painters to paint, musicians to play in synchronicity on balconies or via Zoom and other apps. Many creatives actually start from a base line of advantage. They are often introverts who choose self isolation as their environment. And things of enduring beauty grow from that redoubt.
Creatives know resilience like the back of their hand. They can feel their way out of dark spaces without a torch. They will find a way to do what they do best in spite of the depressing headlines.
But of course they are not made of words, or pigments, or drum rolls. They need to eat, feed their children, keep a roof over their heads. Handouts from government buy them time but not a living.
That's where you come in. You can help by buying their books, their artworks, their songs. There's mutual benefit in that: they create the art, and you can share in it by expressing its value through your purchases.
In the Old Economy that predated the pandemic, you might go to book launches, gallery openings, open-air concerts, and buy their merchandise directly. You knew that those direct sales benefit artists the most, and your purchase somehow prolonged the emotion of your contact with them.
But people—even those well-off in the Old Economy—have fallen into the habit of sourcing artist content through the cheapest channels, sometimes not even paying for it at all. A whole generation has grown up with the attitude that everything online should be accessible for free.
The distance imposed by the Internet between artists and their audiences only encourages this sense of entitlement in people who "consume" art rather than supporting it through attendance and subscription.
What I'm suggesting is that, in the pandemic and post-pandemic New Economy, we should do our best, within our means, to support artists directly at points as high up the supply chain as possible.
In the case of authors and book illustrators, this could mean buying their work directly—either from the creatives themselves or their publishers' online stores. Next best option is to buy through your local independent bookshop, resisting the option to source the title from those discount sites that are now second nature to our buying habits.
Publishers have a role to play in this New Economy. We will be substituting virtual means of personalising our artists' contact with you, their audience. These new methods may include more blog and vlog posts, audio samples, and podcast interviews. There may be other channels yet to be invented that will bring our artists closer to you.
So, make it personal from now on. Express your interest in the creatives you follow by buying their work at the highest point in the supply chain as you can afford. Like and Comment on their posts, and by all means spread the word.
We'll all feel better for it.