Azure Assurances – A Book of Pictured Poetry by Crystal A Davis and Kylie Fogarty
A short while ago I was contacted by Tasmanian Poet Crystal A. Davis to see whether I would be interested in providing some artwork for a book.
Excited by the prospect of art influenced by contemporary poetry, we immediately began our discussions on what this would entail.
What has resulted has been an exciting time for both of us, as this is Crystal’s first book of poetry along with my first series of line art that is inspired by her amazing works.
“St Kilda Life” by Crystal A. Davis was the first poem I read from her body of work and immediately I knew this was a project that I would love to be involved in:
St Kilda Life
Cooing cries, “it’s alright, it’s alright.”
From fat pigeons.
Sitting with an empty tummy
And a full heart.
How much more it means than the opposite!
There is freedom here and breath.
Lack of expectation
The unspoken understanding that
You Can Do Anything.
Music. Love. Flights of fresh ideas.
I could live here again,
© Crystal A. Davis 2013
I asked Crystal if she would be willing to share a little more about herself and the process of Self – Publishing her body of work. She graciously agreed and her answers to my questions can be found below:
How long have you been writing poetry?
I have always been in love with words, and even when I was young I found poems often poured out of me whole before I had time to think. I started writing poetry in my early teens as a therapeutic outlet, to help me deal with traumas and heartbreaks. I wrote as a way to release the things I was feeling safely. That is still how the process often happens, when the mood takes me it all just appears whole on the page! I lost touch with it for a while when I threw myself into the world of corporate 9-5, and I am so glad to be consumed by it again.
Which poets do you admire?
Jewel Kilcher has been my favourite poet and songwriter for a very long time. I used to listen to her music when I was younger, loved it, and have since discovered her books of poetry which I absolutely adore. I find her writing style to be naked and enthralling, and it cuts right through to my heart. I also love Rumi, Keats and many, many others! I fall in love with poems I come across often, and revel in discovering new creations. Just the other day I saw a poem written on a window in a cafe which was amazing! Poetry is everywhere <3
Which subject matter inspires you the most?
Like many artists, pain motivates my work often. When I am really challenged in life, and pushed to the brink of despair, poetry brings relief and healing. I find that once it is on the page, it disappears from my heart and I can move on. Some of the work in Azure Assurances was created during a time I was caring full time for my twin sister who suffers with mental illness, one of the hardest periods of my life; and it has kept me sane in many circumstances where I believe I would otherwise have broken entirely. I also write about beautiful nonsense – the regular moments in life where I feel so connected and in the flow that I can’t help but express myself! I can be inspired anywhere, anytime. I have even woken myself up in the middle of the night scribbling on the book I keep next to my bed!
What made you decide to self-publish a book?
Ghandi has a lot to answer for. Whilst it has been a dream of mine to publish a book of my works since childhood, it was reading his autobiography “The Story of my Experiments with Truth” earlier this year that really stoked the courage to take the leap. In it, Ghandi describes the steps he took in his life to lead it as truthfully as possible, in the belief that unless we are wholly truthful with ourselves and the world, we cannot be healthy physically, emotionally or spiritually. It marked the culmination of a long transformation for me, going from fitting into the box to living a life I love – I realised that for a long time I hadn’t been truthful with myself and others about who I was, what I loved, what I wanted, and what I truly ached for. Poetry is something I ache for – and sharing it with the world is the next step in me living this truthful life.
How did you choose the poems to include in Azure Assurances?
It was very simple. I looked at each poem, and asked myself – “Is this the truth? The whole truth? And nothing but the truth?” If it was the absolute core of how I was feeling at the moment that I wrote it, it was included. I have changed my mind on several and swapped them, then swapped them again until I was happy! I am very aware that not everyone will connect with my work – we all view art from a place of personal experience and preferences, and so I am perfectly prepared for the possibility that people may not resonate with my writings. But they are honest, and that’s all they need to be.
What do you find most daunting?
Hands down – self doubt. It rears it’s hideous little head when I least expect it and I am constantly working on staying in a place of creativity and acceptance of myself and my desires. Every now and again a little voice says “What on earth are you doing? Are you mad?!” The biggest challenge for me is that these society-conditioned thoughts are an enormous creative blocker – I simply can’t create when I am in that head space. Yoga, music, being connected with the earth and dance all bring me back to reality and allow me to stay true to myself.
Thank you so much to anyone reading this for your interest in the book, and I send my love to all the people around the world living with abandon and honesty – I am excited to be joining your ranks!
We have just under $300 to go until we reach our target…..if you would like to have your own signed copies of Azure Assurances, you have six days left to get one. Just head on over to the pozible site (you can use paypal or credit card – the amount is processed only if the target is met. For anyone who may be interested in pledging for a book, there are options for e books – as little as $10, both Soft and Hard Copy books are available ($50 also gets you a poem written just for you!) The above image is an example of the artwork that will be published in the book, however please note the cover is subject to change. Full details can be found on the pozible site at http://www.pozible.com/project/30137