Coronavirus restrictions halt poetry launch
Isolation has been a double-edged sword for local poet John Bartlett.
Months of solitude presented John with the space to continue writing, but launching a book during the coronavirus has its challenges.
The Breamlea local’s launch of his latest book Songs of the Godforsaken is on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, and John hopes sales of his latest work will gain traction before the revised date.
Local poet Julie Mclean was to join this month’s Zoom conference launch but John has pushed the date back to July 19.
“I just didn’t think I was ready and felt I needed a bit more traction around sales before I put it out,” he said.
He said the past three months had been a difficult time for artists to celebrate their work, and his upcoming launch via Zoom would be very
different to previous launches he had at Geelong libraries, which drew large crowds.
“This collection has sort of gone unnoticed because there’s no way of having a public event, so I just have to rely on friends and people that know me to buy the book,” he said.
Despite a release date challenges, John saw isolation as an “opportunity” to write and considered himself lucky for continuing to find inspiration while other artists were struggling.
“There’s a lot to reflect on in my life, different experiences and relationships with people,” he said.
These reflections will fill the pages of John’s next book, with his latest body of work Songs of the Godforsaken available now, primarily inspired by the environment and where he lives.
“A lot of my poetry is nature poetry, I find a lot of my poems are connected to water birds, sea birds and the ocean,” he said.
This collection of poems also explores other themes that interest John including political issues, human rights and spirituality.
John says living near the ocean has become a part of his writing process and visiting the beach helps when he is experiencing writers block.
“It’s a good place to write, I often finish different bits of writing in my head while walking along the beach.”
John has a full collection of poems he hopes to release later this year and wants to honour both collections properly when coronavirus restrictions ease.
“I’m hoping when events are possible, perhaps next year, I’ll have a double launch of both collections,” he said.
Songs of the Godforsaken is available to purchase online from beyondtheestuary.com/shop/songs-of-the-godforsaken or email John at [email protected] for more information about the poetry launch.