Shorelines, A Collection of Poems
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Another in Barbara and Janie’s superb self-published series of anthologies. Until I left Sussex to marry Bill 42 years ago, I had always lived by the sea and I must admit that I do miss it sometimes. I just love a walk on a deserted beach on a wild and woolly day and still cannot resist picking up shells and pretty stones to add to the bathroom collection. I know that it is rather a childish pastime collecting shells, but I still love to do it. I use a few in my dishes of succulents and in the fine gravel in the courtyard. One of the poems in this book talks of “The empty houses of bright water-things”. Simply perfect… I know you will treasure this anthology too.
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The story of this little treasure
For over the last 30 years Bill and I have been members of a wine tasting circle, sadly now known as Mr Boozy, and 12 of us get together once a month to taste wines from around the world. We are a motley crew with two GPs, a judge, a plants woman, accountant, language teacher, beautician, computer geek, social worker and company director all part of this jolly band.
We really do know each other very well and rarely surprise each other. So, it was of great interest when Barbara McNaught revealed that she is also a finder of treasures – she announced that she and a chum had collected poems, writings and wood cut drawings all about Washing Lines!
Since that time Barbara and Janie Hextall have published four of these delightful books under the banner of Lautus Press and I have three of these for you in my Treasures. I’ll let Barbara tell you how it all came about:
“We both love poetry and belong to an informal poetry group where the host chooses the subject for the evening. I chose ‘Laundry’ and was amazed to discover that Janie shared my obsession with washing lines! We started to exchange any poems that we discovered on the laundry subject and were truly astounded by the quantity, and the quality of what we were finding; by how many well-known poets had written about washing, ironing, pegging out, and how much the poems touched on memories and emotions. The collection was so exciting that the idea of making it into a book was born. I had already started to collect wood engravings on the washing line theme, and we had great pleasure in finding more illustrations and pairing the poems and the pictures together.
“The whole process was a learning curve, but such an enjoyable one, and in the process Janie and I have become the best of friends. In fact, we didn’t want to stop, particularly since Washing Lines was an instant success and literally ran off the shelves and continues so to do this day. We just had to follow it with other collections about our shared passions. They all follow the same design with poems and black and white illustrations, mainly wood engravings. And Lautus Press? Is the past participle of the Latin verb ‘lavo- to wash’ meaning washed/clean. A nice little joke for us…”