POETRY REVIEWS-Melinda Cochrane
GPAGE - Short Book Review
This is a wonderful collection of words, imagery and reflection. In the book She's An Island Poet, Melinda Cochrane writes poetry and prose that brings to mind memories that we all have when we recall special moments and places from our past. Poems like "River Boats" where visions of boats and a writer's serenity collide with craftsman and their chosen trade. Her opening letter where she starts it with "Dear Island," sets the scenery for what is to come in a book of brilliant poetry. A childhood event is recalled when she disappears in the poem "Vanished," "a town girl who they already knew as already famous, famous for her small hats and fake jewels made of wool..." A town that never saw her again, and longed for answers to why she'd left so abruptly. Many poems of real life and daily island living paint pictures of different realities and lives. The personal touches and the mention of family members in her poetry makes this a wonderful collection indeed.
About The Author...
Melinda Cochrane is an inspirational speaker, writer and publisher. Her first publication was with ditch poetry and The Stray Branch literary magazine with work recently published with Backalong books in The art of poetic inquiry. Work also published with Brian Wrixon in “In memory and In Ink” a collection of poetry. She’s published in online magazines such as, Life as a human, Young Men’s Perspective Magazine, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine. Melinda has recently received the Mary Belle Campbell scholarship for poetry from the North Carolina Writers Network. Also a winner of the summer Malahat Review weekly monostich contest. She's published work in the Quills literary poetry journal. Her collection of poetry called The man who stole father’s boat, is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. It was first published with Backalong Books. Her recent publication is a novella called Desperate Freedom, first published by Brian Wrixon Books Canada, was on the best seller's list for one week. She’s read in Bournemouth England, North Carolina, and Montreal- 100 thousand poets for change, Nuit Blanche and other events. Her speaking engagements focus on healing, finding your passions and executing them. She will move you with her determination and belief in the process she learned as a survivor of violence, and of poverty. Melinda is also the editor of Perspective Poetry Magazine. Recently, Melinda was a long listed winner for the Fermoy International Poetry Contest. Her new poetry collection is called She's an island poet, published by YMPmedia1Network.com
GPAGE Author Interview - September 2013
Question: What or who inspired you to write this book?
Answer: I would say, it’s a what and who that inspired me. I was inspired by the lack of connection with the natural world, which so many experience these days. I believe in order for us to value it we must take a look into why we have been so neglectful of the planet’s resources and the natural oneness with it. I think it’s a spiritual journey I took within and it emerged through the stories of a poet and her island life. I was inspired to write about the journey of one islander toward the bigger life outside an island. It was in all ways a spiritual message void of religion and only the voice of nature within resides in the passages. It’s a message of sustainability, of peaceful awareness and the realization of a need to relay a message of spiritual connect.
Question: Was there any particular life event or situation that may have lead to writing this?
Answer: I wrote the book because of a need to connect my past with my present. It is in a sense a moving toward a deeper spiritual understanding of all people and all environments. I believe our deepest philosophy and our deepest truism are held still within the movements of the natural world. I wrote it to allow others to perhaps search within for theirs as well. I don’t write for myself, I write to teach and the words in the book are meant to change the ideas some have of what I means to live with the realm of real and spiritual.
Question: Do you plan on writing anything else like this in the future or plan on continuing this as an "Island Poet" series?
Answer: As long as I am spiritually driven I will write, whether its part of this series or not depends on if I am inspired to do so. I am currently working on books that are not part of this series but are deeply spiritual in their messages. And, when I say spiritual I in no way mean religious, I mean a philosophical awareness rooted in observations that I try to pass on. I believe all poets do the same.
Other Reviews Of She's An Island Poet
"Lyrical and deeply evocative, Melinda Cochrane's poetry calls demons to the dance floor and brings the mighty to their knees. She's an Island Poet beautifully captures the spirit of Islandness, in general, and Newfoundland, in particular. She celebrates the struggles of place and people as the very loom on which their inner fibres are woven. This is an intensely human and honest collection that will leave you changed."
Dr. Ellyn Lyle, author and lecturer/ University of Prince Edward Island
In She's An Island Poet Melinda Cochrane, with a brush of both reflection and soul-full imagination, in buoyant colour paints an incredible landscape of both person and place.
In this collection of poetry and poetic prose, she gently but vigilantly reminds both herself and us not of a distant place beyond or a place without, but instead perhaps in each of us a place within. She takes us there effortlessly throughout this collection with passages like "The ocean currents brought me back and I knew the worded memories. I found the washed stones in my shoes and the velvet sofa of my grandmother...", and "...we do not, go into the interior without knowing the rules of nature,//we rhythm with it,...".
This is a wonderful and poignant collection of word, image and reflection, with number on number of simply remarkable poems and short works of prose, but in particular the opening letter to the island, "Her Letter" and the section of poems, "Freedom" -undeniably brilliant.
Bruce Kauffman, Author of The Texture of Days, in Ash and Leaf