This post is about Claudia McGill. It came about because I was in promotion mode, and since I don’t seem to be very successful at it on my own behalf, I thought maybe I could pitch in for somebody else.
You might be more familiar with Claudia for creations like this
But Claudia McGill also write poetry. Did you know that? When I posted a series of dog rose haiku, last week sometime, Claudia replied in response to the last one with this string of poems.
Haiku Group Thorn
and now infected. You fool
who forgave the wound.
First class work it was,
that ragged gash on your arm.
My aim was superb.
You and your quick eyes,
but I moved too fast. My thorns
scratched out my message.
Forgive, no. The thorn
left its suppurating mark.
I will die angry.
She also creates quirky collage image/words like this one entitled ‘Disappointed mother’. Absolutely spot on!
Last week I heard that Claudia had released a new book, so I asked her if she would like to write a little bit about herself and I would post it. Here’s what she replied.
As far as a biography, I’m not sure what you’re interested in knowing? I was born in Tennessee but have lived in Pennsylvania, USA, all my adult life. I have been an avid reader since I learned to read and go through several books a week. I was an English major at Bryn Mawr College and worked for a bank, making loans to small businesses, for 13 years – then I left the bank and for a hobby started doing art. The hobby turned into a profession for me and since the mid 1990’s I’ve exhibited fabric work, collage, paintings, and clay work in local and regional shows.
I have written poetry for my whole life but only in the last few years have I really turned my attention to it. Being able to publish on a blog spurred me into action, and that led to the poetry volumes I have published. The four “seasonal” ones I did in 2015 were part of my effort to recover from a long-term series of health problems. The others have been collections of poems published on the blog (putting my “inventory” into print). I plan one more book as “catching-up” and then I think the next ones will reflect where I am right now.
I have also published a mystery novel, in 2000, and reissued last year, “Distractions Can Be Murder” (based on my banking life); and a critical examination of the works of Joseph Conrad (written as my thesis in 1980 for my English degree.). I’ve also had my fabric work published in a book – Drafting and Design Simplified – and self-published a couple of how-to fabric collage books relating to creating house portraits or landscapes in fabric.
I am married and have one son, who got married himself last September. I like to exercise and be outdoors and I run, do orienteering, and swim. I’ve lived in suburbia all my life and that’s what I know about, so that’s what I write about.
I asked Claudia to choose a favourite poem and she picked this one from her collection, Autumn opens a door.
Nothing But Happy
I have absorbed enough sad for a lifetime
and no more I’m going to do it. Squeeze myself out
like a sponge
and wipe up happy instead
That’s what I’m going to do. I’m all wrung out
lost all their vigor and the next thing that happens is
stiffened up and dried out.
Not me. I’m all wrung out
limber and ready
to sop up any happy I see spilled anywhere.
And if I get too much to carry
I’ll squeeze out some for you. Hold out your hands
Nothing but happy.
from Autumn Opens a Door
As well as poetry and painting/collage, Claudia makes ‘snippets’ a quirky, amusing, thoughtful hybrid of the two. Here’s one to give you an idea.
If, like me, you are rather in awe of so much talent, you might be interested in taking a look at her new collection, Get to the point. You can find it at Amazon.com
If you go to Claudia’s Amazon author page, you will find details of all her other books. I hope you do. Leaving you with one more painting entitled:
We Will Never Be Friends At This Rate.