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Writing In New Zealand

 

In 2018 Sue was awarded the prestigious Robert Lord Writing Residency in Dunedin, New Zealand, a UNESCO City of Culture, to research and write her project ‘In Search of Richard Seddon.’ The Robert Lord Writers Cottage residency is offered courtesy of the Playmarket, which playwright Robert Lord co-founded and the trust that administers his former home. He lived here for five years before he died in 1992, aged 46. He left the cottage to nurture other writers, offering them a place to work uninterrupted and rent-free. Chat

In 2019 Sue travelled to Dunedin from the United Kingdom to take up the residency to research Richard Seddon, one of New Zealand’s greatest Prime Ministers who was born in her hometown of St. Helens, United Kingdom.  Sue said: ‘Through this visit I have started to build a bridge between the influences of Seddon’s early years in St. Helens and his successful and purposeful life in New Zealand". 

  ‘While in Dunedin I was presented with a series of opportunities to further this aim and other aspects of my writing such as poetry inspired by my stay at the cottage.’

 

Recent Books:

Poems from the Cottage, Pear Tree Press, New Zealand. Limited edition

The Great St. Helens Quiz

Poems from the Pandemic.

 

 

 Poems from the Pandemic

 

    Writer Sue Gerrard is celebrating the publication of her new poetry collection Poems from the Pandemic follows this unique time from the first lockdown through to the easing of restrictions.

   Sue, from St. Helens, Merseyside explains: ‘Life in lockdown has been incredibly challenging for all of us and writing has provided comfort to many people both as a way of expressing their feelings and using their extra time productively and so it was the case with me.’

   ‘For most people 2020 was the strangest of years’ says Sue, who has published eleven collections of poetry, ‘when on the stroke of midnight, New Year’s Eve we welcomed in the year, little did we know what was waiting for us as the year progressed.  New words were added to our vocabulary such as COVID-19, lateral flow tests and an old word was resurrected, that of pandemic.’

   Sue continues: ‘During the time in lockdown, I felt I wanted to keep a record of this strange and historic time and rather than keep a diary I decided to write a collection of poems, which have now been published in a book.

  ‘I was further inspired to do this when I received a phone call from Three Counties Radio who are based in Dunstable and cover Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. They asked if I would read and comment on a poem by a lady who was suffering from long covid after being in a coma for months.  She had written a poem about her dreadful ordeal. I was given the opportunity to speak to this lady, whose beautiful poem brought home to me the horror of the illness. She was incredibly brave and I knew I had to write this collection.’

 ‘The book reflects the many aspects of lockdown, the emotions and the thoughts some of which we share, some that are very personal to us.  As I wrote each poem, I was mindful of those who have suffered and those who are still suffering through this difficult time and those who have made our lives safer, more bearable, and more enjoyable.

  ‘The book is written in the order of events starting with the sudden appearance of Covid, clapping on doorsteps for key workers, walks in the park and appreciation of nature, the uncertainty about what the future would hold, springtime in the pandemic and the two minutes silence of remembrance. The last poem in the book Where the Wildflowers Grow reflects the universal hope we share, that we can start living our lives to the full again.

  ‘This collection, although not illustrated, is a companion collection to Poems from the Cottage, which was published by Pear Tree Press, Auckland, New Zealand,  which is now in the Alexander Turnbull Library, New Zealand’s National Library.

    Sue explains: ‘This has been a very emotional collection to write but I feel I have recorded a unique time in our history and I hope that people will enjoy reading the poems.’

There will be a book signing at Momo’s, 64-68 Westfield Street, St. Helens on Saturday 21st August, 2021 from 11am to 2.30pm.

 

 

 

Note to editor: Contact details: 07985556539, email: gerrard156@btinternet.com

Recent Books:

Poems from the Cottage, Pear Tree Press, New Zealand. Limited edition

The Great St. Helens Quiz

Poems from the Pandemic.

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Sue Gerrard
Phone: +44 798 5556539 +44 798 5556539
E-mail:sue@suegerrard.com

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