Tag Archives: Kate Garrett

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett Bonnie’s Crew

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kate G

This year Kate Garrett embarked on a new project Bonnie’s Crew. Kate tells us more about this in our final interview.

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1) Can you tell us a little background on Bonnie’s Crew?

Bonnie’s Crew was originally just going to be a little A6 print anthology, put together from work sent in by my friends in the poetry community, and sold via JustGiving to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. Leeds Congenital Hearts – which is funded by the CHSF – saved my daughter Bonnie’s life when she was born, but they did it without surgery (so far – she does have a condition that often requires surgery later in life). Other babies, children, teens, and adults need the unit’s help in much more complex ways. Our time on Ward L51 opened my eyes to congenital heart disease and made me want to do something to help.

 

2) At what point did you realise poetry was your way of giving back?

Almost immediately – it’s where my own heart lies (aside from my family unit of course, but even then my husband and closest friends are poets too!), and poetry is where my people are, where the community is for me.

 

3) Please tell us about the Bonnie’s Crew anthology and webzine.

The Bonnie’s Crew anthology is fiftyish pages of poems, mostly by poets in the UK, printed in A6 size with beautiful original cover art by Marija Smits. The poems range from those written just for Bonnie to suitable reprints, and everything in between.

The webzine has become far wider-reaching – poets from all over the world submit to Bonnie’s Crew! For both mediums, I wanted poems touching on hearts and hope, above all else, but also hospital experiences, grief, loss, love (romantic or otherwise) – as these are all very universal things, we all have a body, we all have emotions, and when we experience health issues, or loss, or family problems, or anything that moves us deeply, it’s good to have a place to express those things and find solace in other stories.

Sometimes our poems are inspired by news articles that aren’t even about human beings, but are relevant to our moral dilemmas (I’m thinking of Jude Cowan Montague’s brilliant ‘the sadness of the experiment’ https://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/poem-the-sadness-of-the-experiment-by-jude-cowan-montague), and sometimes the poets themselves have been in hospital for heart conditions. It varies, but the writing is always beautiful.

We currently publish two poets a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but from February 2019 we will be publishing in a web journal format every other month. BC #1 will be released on 9th February – and there’s still space for more work. To read what we’ve published so far, and to submit your own work, visit http://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com

4) How many poems have been published on the zine?

I’m not exactly sure! Over 150, or around that… at the time of answering these questions there have been 105 posts published or scheduled, and quite a few of those include multiple poems. We’ve been publishing since the first week of February 2018.

 

5) How did it feel to hit your fundraising target?

Amazing, unbelievable. And I was so moved by the fact that through poetry we were able to raise over £1,000 in 6 months. We’re still going, and still have anthologies left to send out, so if people are interested, our JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bonnieandcrew and if people would like an anthology after donating (£5 minimum for a book, but even a £1 donation helps!), please email me at bonnies.crew.poems@gmail.com. I’d love to raise £2,000 by the time Bonnie turns one in January, or at least by the time the print anthology turns one in May.

6) When did you decide to include visual art?

When I decided to change to a bi-monthly web journal format. Our webzine has been characterised by me pairing public domain images with the poems we publish, and people always remark on the lovely combinations. I’d like to carry on the visual aspect when we change to releasing work in issues, but I wanted the art to come from submissions instead of public domain resources.

7) What have you enjoyed most about this project?

What haven’t I enjoyed! It’s honestly the most rewarding bit of editing and publishing I’ve ever done. If I had to stop editing/publishing everything else tomorrow, I would not be able to put Bonnie’s Crew down. It’s made such a difference to people, not just the heart unit, but regular people who come across the poems and feel soothed by reading them.

 

8)What is the future for this project?

Well, as I say, I’d love to raise more money (which means selling the remaining anthologies), hold an event in Leeds with readings, and see where the new web journal format takes us. I’m accepting creative nonfiction articles and essays now as well, alongside the poetry and visual art. Bonnie’s Crew’s tagline has always been ‘poems helping hearts of all sizes’ and it’s grown to helping hearts in both literal and figurative ways. It would be lovely to keep that momentum going and reach even more people.

bONNIES CREW

bonnies crew

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett Editor Interview

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Kate Garrett is a poet and an editor. In this interview we will discover more about her editorial work.


1) What makes your magazine /journals different from others on the market?

I don’t know, I didn’t set them up to really be anything in relation to other publications, they are just what I wanted them to be – Picaroon is for “rogue” poems, work that might be too odd or outspoken for other markets. Three Drops from a Cauldron is for folkore/myth poems but for everyone regardless of geography/nationality, age, race, sexuality, gender identity, disability, etc – I love myth and lore from all perspectives. Bonnie’s Crew was originally set up to raise money and awareness for a heart charity, but it’s now a place people come to read gentler poems about being human, or poems that will give them a moment of calm.

 

2) What’s your mission at Three Drops from a Cauldron?

Actually, apart from indulging my own love of reading work based in myths, lore, magic, superstition, legend, and son on – another side of our mission is to show that myth/folklore/fairy tale/legend-themed writing has more scope than people sometimes think. I’ve seen people say ‘folklore poems’ as if the very idea leaves a bad taste in their mouths, that ‘political’ poems are somehow superior… and while I appreciate a good political poem, and agree they are very important, I’ve published poems that are both of those things – mythical and political. In addition to this, many of our poems are personal to the author, the stories have a lot more to say than just ‘here is some magic happening’ or a direct retelling of an old tale. These things – myth, folklore, legend – are ingrained in all of us and fanciful stories are not always told just for the sake of it. There is often more under the surface.

 

3) How has expanding your team changed things?

Well, it’s definitely made the seasonal specials a lot more interesting and fun! I took on our readers and editorial staff for seasonal specials (Samhain, Midwinter, Beltane) specifically, and to help out with our early themed print anthologies. While I try to keep a wide range of readers in mind when selecting work, it’s definitely easier to do that with seven other people going over the submissions. Sadly, we won’t be doing any more themed print anthologies, and our seasonal specials will be ending with Midwinter 2018 (submissions open 1 November, and it will be published in December), but the team have said they will still be around if I need them. They’ve also expanded our audience by sharing Three Drops with quite different groups of people – their own social media friends and followers – which is wonderful.

 

4) Do you have a theme for each issue?

No, for the regular web journal issues, there is no set theme. Themes might arise in each issue of my three web journals – Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon Poetry, Bonnie’s Crew – but it’s not intentional.

 

5) How should writers contact you?

By email please. Three Drops: threedropspoetry@gmail.com

Picaroon Poetry: picaroonpoetry@gmail.com

Bonnie’s Crew: bonnies.crew.poems@gmail.com

 

6) What’s your day like as an editor?

It varies wildly – because I have five kids, currently four journals (as well as people’s pamphlets in print) to publish, and health issues. One day I might not do any editing at all – I might do some writing instead, I might have to have a full housework day, or a day resting, or there might be appointments for the kids. On the days I do edit, the weekday mornings always start with coffee, then giving Saoirse and Bonnie breakfast after the husband and three teenage sons have left the house, exciting mumsy things like that… After the girls have settled, if it’s a Saturday/Sunday/Monday I am probably responding to submissions. If it’s any other day I might be formatting a book or a journal issue, designing a cover, scheduling posts on the webzine format mags, proofreading. It’s organised chaos.

 

7) How do you edit? / What are you looking for?

Most of all, I’m looking for work that moves me. I’m not concerned with how much the writer has been published, what degrees they have, what competitions they’ve won – I don’t even read bios until I’ve read the submission itself. A writer with no publication credits could send a poem or flash fiction or creative nonfiction that blows my mind, and maybe a writer who has won every possible contest and has a PhD could send their least impressive work – I will accept the pieces that make me feel something regardless of who wrote them.

 

8) What’s your final advice to writers?

Probably the same advice most people give – keep writing, keep READING (I cannot stress how important it is to read if you’re a writer; apart from improving your craft, I don’t understand why anyone would want to be published if they don’t like books…), and don’t take rejection too hard. Rejections seem to upset people more than anything, it seems, and honestly they are just part of the whole writing game. Everyone gets them. Being a bit of a melancholy person, I actually expect them! Take a step back, look for any positives you can take from it (I always look at my work again, and sometimes – though not always – in the harsh glare of a rejection things appear that might need more work), know that selections for journals, anthologies, and pamphlets/collections/novels/everything else are made based on a number of factors, and try again.


Check in later to find out more about Bonnie’s Crew when we chat to Kate this evening.

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INKSPILL 2018 Bookshop

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The INKSPILL Book Shop posts provides you with access to this year’s Guest Writers books and other books featured over the weekend.

Our Guest Writers give their time for free and the whole weekend is free for you to access… so if you are in the market for a book, you have come to the right place.


Kate Garrett

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The Density of Salt

These are poems of journeying, transformation, and growth, woven through with fairytale and myth, forest, sky and sea; they are elaborations of the dark times that make us look for light. This book is a place where love is never the same feeling twice, and neither is revenge.

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You’ve never seen a doomsday like it

These are poems about surviving doomsdays. People use the word doomsday to describe the apocalypse, and apocalypse simply means ‘an uncovering of knowledge’. Every life has its share of apocalyptic moments—not only great catastrophes, but also small secret revelations, and surprise twists of good fortune as well. They leave you with lessons learned, and stories to tell.

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Deadly, Delicate 

Here are fourteen poems circumnavigating the world of historical piracy, presented at a slant where the men are dangerous and the women are lethal. The violence and the sweetness, the freedom and the acceptance of death are all given equal footing. Never straying from the brutality of a lawless life on the seas, Deadly, Delicate welcomes you to the depths…

Three Drops Press and Picaroon Titles can be found here – 4 pages of books.

Spotlight Kate Garrett

 

Bonnie’s Crew Poetry Anthology 

The Bonnie’s Crew poetry anthology is here! Our tiny A6 paperback contains 41 poets and 52 pages of poetry. It’s a limited first print run of 200, and they’ve been flying out my front door – but we do still have plenty available.

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INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Workshop with Kate Garrett – Fear of the Known

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kate G

Fear of the Known

What scares you?

The other day my husband remarked that horror films and books, as clever and dark as they are, usually don’t write about the mundane things that really scare and disgust people – aging, speaking in public, listening to people chew, answering telephones, bananas… all the seemingly normal things that get to us in our day to day lives.

So what I would love to see is this:

pick one of your everyday fears – or if you are truly fearless, try to imagine what it would be like to be afraid of a commonplace thing – and write a poem about it in the vein of real hauntings-and-monsters-and-slashers horror.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett Interview

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kate G

Kate Garrett talks to us about writing poetry, her influences, books and reading as well as the latest on her current projects.

 

1) When did you realise you were a writer/ poet? 

I realised I was a writer somewhere around age three. I wanted to write my own books (I’d learned to read when I was two) – so my grandma would bind scraps of leftover wallpaper in cardboard, and I’d spend my days drawing Care Bears and My Little Pony fan fiction in them. I recall one of my Care Bears holding a knife, so I think my personal style was set long, long ago…

Poetry came several years later, with reading ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes for the first time. It was historical fiction, it was a ghost story, it was full of emotion – it was everything I loved about prose fiction but in ballad form. It made me realise poetry was storytelling, too; it was when I learned ‘poetry’ was not just the amusing rhymes they taught us as small children. From there I moved on to the Beat Generation, then Sharon Olds, all in my teens, and became obsessed with writing it myself. I was 12 when ‘The Highwayman’ got that started. Strangely enough, it was through school that I came to love it – which is what quite a lot of people cite as a turn off.

2) Tell us about your process: Pen and Paper, computer, notebooks … how do you write? 

Pen and paper first, words and ideas jotted down in stream of consciousness, scribbles, only I know what I am trying to say (and sometimes even I don’t know). Then I take it to the computer, start typing anything that sounded salvageable in my notes, and stronger images and phrasing will come to me as I work. While I write the proper first draft, I must discover something I didn’t know was there – something about a character I’m writing (because much of my poetry is historical fiction or horror or both), or about myself, or a situation/experience. If that doesn’t happen, if I don’t learn something while writing, the poem isn’t working.

3) Which writer would you most like to have a drink with, and why?

Søren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus, because both of their books have helped with my emotional and mental wellbeing over the years… being comfortable with your own anxiety in an absurd world has a lot going for it, and without these guys and their own forms of existentialism, I don’t know if I’d have reached that point.

4) Where do you buy your books? 

Everywhere books are sold! I mean that sounds like an exaggeration, but I buy books literally everywhere I go, as well as from the internet. Two of the books I’m currently reading were purchased from the gift shop at the top of the Great Orme in Llandudno…

5) Who are you reading now? 

It’s more what am I reading than who just now. I’m reading a lot of history books, especially witch and/or occult and/or religion related – nothing new there – and I’m reading Against Nature (À Rebours) by J.-K. Huysmans, because I just love Huysmans’ novels, they hypnotise me a bit. But I tend to have anywhere from 10-25 books on the go at once (not an exaggeration), depending on what I feel like picking up on any given day. I do go through phases of reading poetry book after poetry book, but right now I’m not in one of those – I imagine I’ll be in one again before the new year! The last handful of poetry books I read included Sheffield Almanac by Pete Green, Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton, Killing the Piano by Joe Williams, Moon Milk by Rachel Bower, & by Amy Kinsman, and Somewhere Between Rose and Black by Claire Walker.

6) Tell us about your latest collection. 

It’s called Land and Sea and Turning, and it’s a limited edition (only 100 copies will ever exist) chapbook published by CWP (Cringe-worthy Poets) Collective Press in Buffalo, NY, USA. It’s 22 poems about fate, and free will… and ok, also death. There are mythological, historical, and personal poems, and a few which are horror fiction. I don’t like to say which poems are which. I’m sure people can figure it out…

7) What influenced it?

History, mythology, literature, astrology, and inevitably, life. There are poems about cannibalism in Jamestown during the winter of 1609-1610; medieval belief in revenants in the abandoned Yorkshire village of Wharram Percy; a crime/horror fiction poem narrated by a very superstitious understudy during a run of Macbeth; a poem about The Girl in Blue, a figure of Ohio folklore who really existed, but her identity was a mystery for 60 years. Some of it is based in my own experience, but I’m increasingly weary of focusing on myself. I like giving life to history. I want people to feel those who came before us as fully fleshed out humans, not just names and dates and ideas, because learning history by memorising dates misses the point. More than anything I want to unsettle people in unexpected ways, not just with stories of my childhood abuse and bad choices as a younger adult. And that’s kind of what happened in Land and Sea and Turning – though some of the poems are personal, the need to dig around in other darkness, the stuff outside of myself, that took over.

8) What are your current/future projects?  

I’ve just finished a mini pamphlet of 12 poems called She looks just like you, which is currently under consideration at a press, and my fingers are firmly crossed. This one is very much based in my personal experience, but it’s through the lens of an elf or a changeling in the human world.

I also just finished my four-part poem ‘The fifth & final’ (to be released this winter as a Stickleback micro collection from Hedgehog Poetry Press), which is about magic, and how I blend my Christian and pagan beliefs, and sort of mythologising my youngest daughter Bonnie’s conception/gestation/birth. It’ll be part of my first full-length collection of poetry, The saint of milk and flames, which I’m halfway through writing. It’s full of faith and doubt, ideas about belonging and outsiders, and has a thread of fire running through it while being simultaneously soothing – hence the title, which is after Brigid, who is both Christian saint and pagan goddess.


 

Later we interview Kate Garrett in her role as Editor.

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett

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Kate Garrett 

Is a poet and editor from the UK.

Poet/Writer

Her poetry and flash fiction have been widely published online and in print, and she is the author of several books. Her latest poetry pamphlets are You’ve never seen a doomsday like it (Indigo Dreams Publishing, June 2017), and Losing interest in the sound of petrichor (The Black Light Engine Room Press, January 2018).

Her next chapbook, Land and Sea and Turning, is forthcoming from CWP Press in Buffalo, NY, USA.

She is currently writing: Holystone – the follow-up to her pamphlet of historical pirate poems Deadly, Delicate; She looks just like you – a sequence poems through the voice of a changeling, addressing the body, magic, and various aspects of queerness; and an as-yet-untitled pamphlet around themes of motherhood/womanhood, belonging+alienation, and faith+doubt.

Kate’s poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and The Density of Salt was longlisted for best pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2016. She is the founding editor of several journals & presses. She is also the former senior editor for poetry + flash fiction (2014-2016) at the now-dissolved writers collective Pankhearst (2012-2016).

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Kate Garrett is the founding/managing editor of Three Drops from a CauldronPicaroon Poetry, and Bonnie’s Crew. Her own writing is widely published, most recently in Ghost City Review, Atrium, Riggwelter, and Allegro, among others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and longlisted for a Saboteur Award. Her latest chapbook, Land and Sea and Turning, was published by CWP Collective Press in 2018. Born and raised in rural southern Ohio, Kate moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives in Sheffield with her husband, five children, and a sleepy cat.

 

 

Editor

Kate is the editor of Three Drops Press/ Three Drops from a Cauldron – A home for quality poetry and fiction based on folklore, mythology, legends, and fairytales.

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Picaroon Poetry A web journal and (very) small press for adventurous poets and their rogue poems.

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Lonesome October Lit A webzine for horror/dark/gothic/kafkaesque/otherwise uncomfortable poetry and stories.

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Bonnie’s Crew An eclectic webzine of poems helping hearts of all sizes – our charity initiative raising money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund / Leeds Congenital Hearts, who treated my youngest daughter’s congenital heart defect.

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She is a married mother of five human children and one cat-child, and lives in Sheffield, where she walks the winding rivers and dreams of living beside the Irish Sea.​

http://www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk/#

 

links to personal sites / social media

Kate reading October 2018

www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk
facebook.com/kategarrettwrites
twitter.com/mskateybelle
instagram @mskateybelle

 

Celebrating being a Poet Again!

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DAY 1 of 9

The last 6 weeks has been much harder than the 15 years I spent not writing whilst I focused on my career. A career I gave up on in 2013 after an 8 year slide into depression. I have spent the past 5 years doing what I do best without having to put up with all the hoop jumping, red tape, politics and thankless 80 hour weeks! I also spent the last half a decade saying a resounding NO to any opportunity to work longer than a 2 week period.

However with an International Poetry Festival scheduled I felt the universe was delivering when I was offered a complete term. Here I am halfway through, I managed a whole month and a half back at the chalk-face full time (almost, some pre-booked poetry events allowed me a little time off for good behaviour). It has certainly been a hectic whirlwind working and freelancing simultaneously!

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Tonight I am celebrating my 9 day freedom by working on everything in the montage above and more. My poetry skin is slipped back on and I do not need to think about work (or report writing) for a while.

This Bank Holiday weekend I am spending some time offline with Mr. G. as the Bank Holiday at the beginning of May was filled with Poetry Events.

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I have a fortnight left as Worcestershire Poet Laureate and excitingly the judging process has begun to find the next one, the three finalists have been announced by themselves across social media, not sure WLF have posted the official announcements yet.

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I am planning my penultimate Spark Young Writer group for Writing West Midlands, many of us have been given the nod this year. It is not a forever job, they tell you this at the beginning. WWM like to support as many writers as they can and they feel these roles benefit from fresh Leaders and so, if you are lucky you will squeeze about 3 years out of the deal. I will be sad to lose this part of my writing life, but it has been a fantastic opportunity and left me with a bank of wonderful, creative plans and activities to incorporate into future work/workshops for Young Adults/children.

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I have a backlog of Blog posts to come reviewing Book Launches, Festival appearances and interviews.

I am working on Issue 4 of Contour, the final WPL digital magazine and reading submissions to the Science collection. There is still time to submit your work to both, just follow these links:

Contour: https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/submissions-open-contour-final-wpl-issue-4/

Science:  https://worcestershirepoetlaureateninalewis.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/submissions-open-tomorrow-for-the-final-wpl-poetry-collection/

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The Twin Town is going well, the European Project hosts just 4 collaborations, certainly an easier task to manage than ATOTC, with it’s mammoth 23 pairings! Several French/Anglo pairs have completed their poems and the deadline is this evening, so I am hoping to wrap it up before the end of my tenure (10th June). The French work is being translated, a truly bilingual collection.

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I am currently organising events for the Poetry Day at Artsfest 2018 and as part of the Poetry Extravaganza in the evening we will have the first UK ATOTC Collective Reading.

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UK READING

 

A few weeks ago many poets received copies of Bonnie’s Crew, a poetry anthology compiled by Kate Garrett to raise funds for Leeds General Infirmary Congenital Hearts Unit, via the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

Kate agreed to an interview a few weeks ago, I hope to start promoting it as soon as I can. It is a fabulous collection of poems.

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Here is her Just Giving Page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bonnieandcrew

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And then I shall have an early night and be bright eyed for getting creative tomorrow.