Do not let their stories die.
I just wanted to make sure you all knew that Three Spaces will be free in the Kindle store today, May 9, 2013, through to early Sunday morning. Don’t have a Kindle? No worries, you can go to Amazon.com and download their free reading software for a Mac or PC, desktop or laptop.
Just wanted to give my readers a gift this Mother’s day weekend. Enjoy!
February 15, 2013
Canadian Poet Heather Grace Stewart launches her fourth poetry collection, Three Spaces
Three Spaces is a ‘brave new collection’ of poetry, prose and photography from Amazon and iBooks Canada bestselling-poet and journalist Heather Grace Stewart. It examines themes within three spaces of our society: public space, personal space, and cyberspace.
“I wanted to put out a collection that was a reflection of our society today, of how we’re trying to balance our public lives with our lives in cyberspace, all while trying to maintain some privacy in our personal lives,’ Heather explains.
“There are dark and intense poems that start this collection, but then I move into tender, humorous poetry and prose to lighten the mood, and colourful images that can provide space for introspection,” Heather explains. “As always, I try to give my poetry substance, but make it accessible. I don’t want my readers scratching their heads or pulling their hair out after reading one of my poems! I want them to relate in some way. I’d like for them to walk away from the experience of reading this book feeling moved, energized and entertained.”
Early reviewers describe Three Spaces as ‘inspiring’ ‘heartfelt,’ ‘professional’ and ‘modern.’ Best-selling Author Elisa Lorello (Faking It, Adulation) writes,
“Buy this book. Get hooked. Add it to your space. You won’t be disappointed.”
Three Spaces is available now in Kindle Stores Worldwide, including Canada, USA & India, the UK, Germany, and many other countries, as well as on Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, and many other epub readers.
It will be available in print on Amazon and in bookstores in April, IF there is enough initial interest (at least 100 requests ) to warrant the production costs.
Heather will appear at Chapters Pointe Claire, Quebec on April 14th to celebrate National Poetry Month and to read from Carry On Dancing and a Kobo version of Three Spaces on her Kobo for IPad app.
Heather’s poems have been published in Canadian literary journals, newspapers and magazines, nation-wide school textbooks, international print anthologies, online journals, and in the British small presses. She was awarded Queen’s University’s McIlquham Foundation Prize in English Poetry (1995) and the UK journal Various Artists’ Poet’s Poet Award in 2008 and 2012.
Her third collection of poetry and photos, Carry On Dancing (Winter Goose Publishing, 2012) hit #1 on Amazon Canada’s Bestselling Poetry list in April 2012, and stayed there for several weeks. It’s now topping the Canadian Kindle Bestselling Poetry charts along with Where the Butterflies Go.
Her second collection of poetry and photos, Leap (Graceful Publications, 2010), has been described as a “lovely lilt of language,” and, “a must for new and already hooked fans,” by reviewers. Where the Butterflies Go (Graceful Publications, 2008), was reviewed as “whirlwind poetry that never hesitates…always delightful and rarely what you expect. We need poetry like this.”
Heather is also a children’s poet, and enjoys screenwriting. The Groovy Granny (2012 Kindle version; Special Audio Version on iBooks) and The Friends I’ve Never Met (Romantic Comedy screenplay, 2012) are her best-selling Kindle books.
Her photographs have appeared in Equinox and National Geographic Traveler among others, and on the cover of over a dozen poetry books.
Born in Ottawa, Canada, she lives with her husband and daughter near Montreal. In her free time, she loves to take photos, scrapbook, cartoon, inline skate, dance like nobody’s watching, and eat Swedish Berries — usually not all at the same time.
I’d like to present a gift to you loyal readers, and I’m so excited about it! As you’ve hopefully already heard, my first of three poetry collections, Where the Butterflies Go, will be FREE starting early tomorrow morning (12:01 a.m. PST Thursday June 21) until 11:59 p.m. PST on Saturday, June 23rd.
You can search for Where the Butterflies Go at any Kindle Store – including Amazon.com and Amazon.eu - and find it free during these three days! It will go down to a crazy-low-price when the promotion is over, too. I want more people to find and have access to my poetry. Partly because I think it can touch more people, but also because of what it can do for UNICEF (I am still giving half the proceeds from these first two collections to their Gift of Education program and other third-world educational programs).
Go get it. Tell others to go grab it FREE. Tell them to check out my other poetry collections here. And enjoy being on the lookout for butterflies, and other small miracles!
Babies are born and lovers lie;
We’ll make plans, when Freedom stands.
Do not let their stories die.
We teach the how, perhaps the why;
Teach to repeat, to ace exams;
Heart and truth would make them cry.
He stayed inside, in search of his brother.
The second plane hit, lens on his mother.
They put on their fire suits, knowing the worst.
They stormed the pilot; called home first.
Some got relief. Some got the wall.
Nine-thousand remains: nothing at all.
Heartbeats skip and minutes fly
like spy planes with capture plans.
And the dead cannot ask why.
It’s not the oil. Truly, we’ll try.
Allied lands, joining hands—
Empty space in our New York sky.
Babies are born and lovers cry;
We’ll make plans, when Freedom stands.
Do not let their stories lie.
Do not let their stories die.
This is about the only time I’d ever say that–as the author of a book titled, ‘Leap,’ I’d say I’m a pretty big fan of jumping in and going for it. But “Don’t Leap!” is definitely the appropriate title for the latest entry in my “By Leaps and Bounds” Photo Contest. This photo was taken by Tony Jurado on May 6, 2010, from the observation deck on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City, NY, USA. You can vote for this and other photos in the contest on my Facebook Author Page, and enter your own photo by following the rules in my previous blog post “By Leaps and Bounds Photo Contest”. Keep on leaping, everyone–I can’t wait to see what else you come up with for this contest!
Thank you, dear readers. Through sales of ‘Leap‘ in March 2010 alone (its first month out there in the world), I was able to donate to Unicef’s Gift of Education program, and we sent another child to school. But so much more could be accomplished, and it doesn’t take much. Please share with others your love of the books “Where the Butterflies Go” and “Leap.” Together, let’s send many more children to school. As my daughter said when she first started walking: Go, Go, Go!
Best wishes always, Heather
‘Leap by Heather Grace Stewart (ISBN 978-0-557-29619-4)
Review by UK Poet Tom Phillips (Various Artists)
Following on from 2008’s Where the Butterflies Go and to some extent picking up some of the threads and moods from that collection (and, indeed, the odd poem, such as the elegantly fragile ‘Forecast’, itself now cast in a new light by one of the poet’s own photographs), Heather Grace Stewart’s Leap contains poems which are simultaneously sparer, richer and more diverse. Here, again, the essential drama is between the ordinary daily routine, when ‘there are/deadlines to meet,/bills to pay,/diapers to change’ (‘Coping’), and the extraordinary ‘other’ which both haunts and tantalises, the poetry finding its occasion in the unexpected emergence of the latter in seemingly simply everyday situations. In ‘Offline’, for instance, an ice storm ‘slowed us/for a few short hours’ but also keeps back the world and its routines so a couple can talk and listen ‘like it mattered/like hearing our own eulogies//and the minutes melted into hours’, while in ‘Progress’ a woman caught up – and dissatisfied – in the hurly-burly of instant, demanding, virtual communication ‘texts and types/Tweets and Skypes//then sleeps outside/where stars and/fireflies decorate the/infinite darkness.’ Tellingly, perhaps, ‘coming up for air’ is one of the phrases which echo from one poem to another: the moments isolated in the poems, whether they be a chance encounter (‘Paths’) or a parachute drop (‘The sun-filled sky says, “Brilliant!”/while the wind whispers, “Fool!”’), become restorative acts.
That this should seem such a strong theme in the book is, perhaps, at least partly down to the inclusion of Grace Stewart’s photographs. These, too, by definition, ‘capture’ the moment, their clear, sharp aesthetic providing, not mere illustration as such, but a visual commentary, a heightening of atmosphere, as in the shot of a barn beneath an immense expanse of sky cut only by a single jetstream or the layers of fading blue, like a Rothko painting, in a picture of a lake and landing stage. Photographs and poems don’t always make the happiest of bedfellows, the one making the other too explicit, narrowing down rather than opening up potential meanings, but here the A4 format gives the images plenty of room and they enrich rather than detract from the experience of reading.
All of which, perhaps, is to overlook other crucial aspects of Grace Stewart’s writing: its directness and its humour. As well as the poems which are, as it were, attending to transcendence, there are those which dryly, drolly comment on the foibles of the internet age –in particular, Facebook and Twitter addiction, and, as the title of one piece has it, that ‘New Poetic Genre: The Status Update’. ‘If he were living today/would Shakespeare/use Facebook?’ muses Grace Stewart, postulating such poetic ‘updates’ as ‘Will Shakespeare can see a dagger before him’, while ‘one smart old man’, a sort of virtual Humbert Humbert, transforms himself into the ‘charming and wise’, double-d-cupped ‘Lolita’, and, in the self-explanatory short, ‘140 characters of less’, the whole Tweetocracy collapses into a satirical slogan the marketing department almost certainly won’t be plagiarising: ‘I’m bored, I’m bitter, I’m on Twitter’. On the other hand, too, this more direct, more performative style leads towards other, more serious themes, such as post-9/11 anxiety and the detachment of the almost mythical political world from the one which the rest of us inhabit – ‘one hand’, after all, really can’t ‘hold the weight/of the world.’
Ultimately, in fact, you could say that this collection embodies a similar recognition: poetry, too, can’t hold the weight of the world but it can, as it does in these accomplished but unforced pieces, engage, entertain and enliven. (Tom Phillips, Various Artists)
Leap is available here