Today I’ll be hosting author Anna Grace Du Noyer on my blog. Her recent release is “Fear is a Liar”.
Me: What sparked your initial love for poetry?
Anna: Poetry shines a sideways light on the world. As a creative, I love reading and writing poems, in the same way I enjoy all of the arts.
Words have the power to define the human experience, and the ability to let us FEEL things.
The structure of poems favour brevity yet the best poems also capture succinct detail, making them incredibly powerful in illustrating meaning and mood to the reader – whatever that mood may be.
In my collections there is no one theme in terms of mood – they range from tongue in cheek to disturbing to deeply moving – all in the same book, just as we would experience a whole range of emotions during any unique experience in our life.
Me: How do you develop your poems? Can you guide us through the stages?
Anna: I’ve never sat down and thought – right I need to write a poem. They just come to me until I realise I have a full collection.
Usually it’s a line or rhyme or something I’ve just noticed in my environment which I feel is metaphorically profound.
Words just seem to pop up when I am in the middle of doing something completely unrelated, and I just have to write them down. I might be sitting in the garden, taking my dog for a walk or be listening to music – even in the middle of a conversation.
I just have to stop what I’m doing and write it down much to the bafflement of my husband!
Once I’ve had the initial idea a draft comes together pretty fast.
I then go back and edit it several times, perhaps over a day or two and often mix up old and new versions, depending on which device I’m working from. I have romantic ideas about using a special notebook and a posh pen to write with but sadly, my brain thinks a lot quicker than my hand can keep up with and they would be illegible!
Me: What should readers expect from ‘Fear is a Liar’?
Anna: Probably something quite unusual. It’s a really varied anthology, in terms of mood – in the way I described earlier. The book offers a poem for every mood, reflecting on periods of crisis – but that is not to say it’s all doom and gloom, or dry or sad. Like any crisis we traverse through, there are a whole range of emotions to confront – from anger, to amusement to sadness to hope and everything in between.
For one individual, I’ve been through an unreasonable number of dark times in my life, so yes, several of the poems are a reflection of those times including grief, and being a victim of abusive behaviour, in the past.
But many of the poems in the book are observations of others, and putting myself in the shoes of those going through a life changing period in their life.
Each theme in the book – grief, loss, abuse, anger – ends up conveying the power of love and hope.
So, the overarching message is: resilience!
Me: If it is not a problem, will you share a poem from it? A favourite of yours maybe?
Anna: Of course. This poem is called Loneliness
into my bed
I welcomed it.
A beetle struck out
I didn’t flinch.
I didn’t fight
by Anna Grace Du Noyer
Me: Describe yourself in 3 words.
Anna: Intense, juvenile, irregular.
Me: You have also written a poetry collection on the pandemic. How much of your poems do you draw from your personal experiences?
Anna: Some of this collection form part of Fear is a Liar, and out of the whole collection these are almost exclusively observational.
Poems of the Pandemic is a collection inspired by stories I heard on the news, or those of my family and friends or in my community. I am extremely fortunate in that I have not been negatively affected by the pandemic but felt so moved by others’ experiences.
As I touched on earlier, my own feelings do come into this anthology, particularly in the second chapter which was written when my mother was dying of brain cancer. The book was published on what would have been her 60th birthday and is dedicated to her.
Me: Will you describe that as taxing or emancipating?
Anna: I found editing that chapter very difficult and in the end decided it was best left untouched. It is a raw reflection of my feelings, caring for a dying parent. I will go back and edit the middle chaper one day, as my poetic style has developed since the poems were written.
Me: What are you doing when you are not writing?
Anna: Words are important in all aspects of my life; I’m also a Communications Specialist for a major British retailer and I sing (once professionally) and write songs, too. I’m at my happiest in nature, with my animals and my husband – oh, and my iphone so I can take notes during moments of inspiration.
Me: Are there any new projects underway?
Anna: Yes, I am compiling another collection at the moment which is very inspired by my connection with nature. I keep changing my mind about what I’m going to call the book.
You will be the first to know!
Contemporary poet, Anna Grace Du Noyer was born in 1986 in North Wales.
Du Noyer’s experiences in early life and young adulthood influence themes within her collections.
Growing up in the British countryside, as the daughter of a geologist, metaphors of mountainous landscapes and stark scenes in nature feature heavily in her poetry.
Du Noyer’s poetry is an antidote to the excesses of civilisation, exploring and reflecting on often unnoticed but profound details in the natural world.
Best known for her poetry journals of major life and world events, her writing ranges from stark and moving elegies to abstract, descorts and free verse. Occasional, humorous, epigrams provide a poem for every feeling experienced during prolonged periods of crisis such as the death of a parent or a global pandemic – two major themes in her recent work.
Du Noyer’s largest collection of poetry was written during her mother’s battle with terminal brain cancer. And in her book Poems of the Pandemic, she explores themes surrounding the 2020 global coronavirus outbreak.
Her observations on the flaws and nuances of the human condition help create a rounded story of life through her lense.
Find Anna on: