“Loy Krathong” - a poetry reading from the author of GASP!

Added about 2 weeks ago by Sacristy Press

VIDEO and Q&A: Hilary Jane Hughes reads a poem from her forthcoming anthology GASP! and answers our questions about her stunning, thought-provoking poetry. 

What is Loy Krathong? Loy Krathong is Thailand’s Festival of Lights. The name Loy Krathong means ‘floating a basket’. Traditionally, people make krathong or basket boats with lights, flowers and candles and float them on a river, lake or on the sea. 

Why did you pick this poem to read? The video maker was really struck by this poem, as the imagery was so strong and lent itself to be captured on film. The word sequence was obviously important in creating each section, which evolved gradually as I read (and wrote!) live the poem for the film. The subject of the poem is really Lam, a young mum from Vietnam. She is extraordinary young woman, who has suffered much because of her disability, but who has such determination to keep going. We continue to support her and visit her.

How did you compile the poems in GASP!? That’s a question! I wanted to represent the themes on which I most often write: people, places and musings. I read them aloud and to others, who made comments about the rhythms, the content and imagery. I wanted the readers and listeners to connect with the places and people, whether they ‘knew’ them or not. It was hard to leave some pieces out, but those I’ve included are the ones that have shaped me as a writer and have encouraged others to pray, to hope, to wonder, and … to write.

What do the poems mean to you? This collection mostly represents the past four or five years of my life. In those years I’ve grown as a poet and as a person. I’ve become more confident in expressing my own thoughts and feelings and those of others and hopefully honed my listening skills too. I’ve also travelled more widely, which is a huge privilege, and find landscape, seascape and cities inspire me a lot. The world is changing and I’m acutely aware of this. However, once in a while it’s OK to dream. It’s always worth being thankful and it’s always worth praying too. That the Creator is also my friend and is infinitely patient with me is a blessing.

GASP!: A collection of musings and reflections from the heart on the sometimes choppy voyage of life is a fervent and arresting response to a fast-changing world, the joy of creation and connection, and the goodness found in people. The poems ask pertinent and hard questions about life, relationships, suffering and inequality. Some of these questions are answered, while others remain mysterious, complex and concerning…

This title is available to pre-order now for just £8.99 (published on 1 December 2018).

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