Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Lucilla Maclaren Spillane’s ANOTHER SEEING & OTHER POEMS


Lucilla Maclaren Spillane’s collection draws on personal experience. The sixty poems in Lucilla Maclaren Spillane’s collection are written with a keen eye for detail and draw on her wide range of experiences in several countries. Some of the poems deal with disabilities, including the author’s own epilepsy. “I hope that my poems will provoke thought on the broader implications of disability, on the way others respond to it, and the effect it can have on a person’s life and that of their relatives and friends,” says Lucilla. “In poetry we can put into words our most acute thoughts and feelings and can express them in a concise form. There are many people who sincerely believe they will never enjoy poetry and I hope that, in publishing this collection, I may be able to enlighten them and help them to recognize, appreciate and enjoy what I regard as true poetry””

Lucilla Maclaren Spillane was born in Oxford, England, of Scottish parentage and now lives in Malta and Ireland. Her poetry has been described as “simple, effective and sometimes extremely beautiful.” Her poem, “A Child in Freedom Square,” won first prize in the 2009 Petersham Festival Poetry Competition. Another Seeing is her first book of poetry.

Written in traditional form and with an ear for harmony, her poems are memorable and easy to read. They range from the deep understanding she shows in “Another Seeing” for the child and the blind man depicted on the cover of the book, through the beauty of “The Lake” in Wisconsin, “The Fountain” in Oxford and “Street Lamps” in Malta to the stark humanity of “The Beggar,” “The Widow” and “A Lonely New Year.” “Lift Off” re-creates the tension of a Space Shuttle launch; “Dragon” reveals the secret fears of a child with epilepsy; “No Time to Die” the redemption of an alcoholic; “Sunday Bells” the frustrations of the writing process; whilst “Haggis Night” vividly depicts the fabled Hogmanay Hunt for Haggis in the Highlands of Scotland.

The notes to the poems contained within this volume give added depth and interest to the poems, explaining how and where they were inspired and what it was that prompted her to write each of them. The afterword explores her influences, philosophy and beliefs with regard to poetry.

PUBLICATION DATE 1st Sept 2013                          ISBN 9781783060696 (9781783068982 ebook)
Price: £9.99/€11.49  

TROUBADOR, 9 Priory Business Park, Wistow Road, Kibworth, Leics. LE8 0RX, UK

The book can be bought from Amazon and leading bookstores and as an eBook on Kindle.

Queries to Dr M G Spillane email Phone: 00-356-2784-2788  


Barry Spurr, Professor of Poetry and Poetics, The University of Sydney: ‘Lucilla Maclaren Spillane has a wide-ranging lyrical voice, expressing rare sensitivity to the natural world and its creatures and changing moods, and the perceptive human being's response to them. Her poems are well-crafted and often arresting. Another Seeing will have wide appeal to lovers of the well-tuned poetic voice'.
Simon. C. Fysh BA (Hons), Conwy, North Wales: Lucilla’s poems are ‘…wide in scope. She has a natural way with the written word which cannot be learnt... It’s a gift. She shows real sympathy with nature and the human condition in general [and] her social comment has a timeless quality. Overall, a wonderful collection.’*
John E. Hallwas, Professor Emeritus of English Literature, Western Illinois University: ‘Lucilla’s poetry ‘invites re-reading and prompts readers to appreciate more intensely their own experience in both the social realm and the natural world. She has the courage to share her own experience of disability and struggle due to epilepsy,’*
Dr. Simon Mercieca, University of Malta: ‘True poets are those who are capable of transmitting hidden sensations in simple words. Lucilla succeeds in conveying not just her ingrained feelings but also her most secretive thoughts. [Her] poems are 'up front,' recounting the depth and reality of day-to-day struggle of existence … a love for the simple things of nature within the complex humility of human behaviour.’*
Andrew J. M. Maund, MA (Cantab), MPhil, Education Advisor to The Housman Society and Head of English, The King’s School, Worcester: ‘This collection ‘echoes the complex mix of influences and hardships that formed Lucilla Maclaren Spillane’s literary education. The range of poetic styles, registers and tones … is extraordinary and every page is a new delight.’*
Mrs. Celine Hollowell, Northampton: ‘I find [Lucilla’s poetry] has words with meaning and I take great comfort from it. She uses simple words, easy to understand, but with great depth.’
Dr. Lilias Fraser, Edinburgh: ‘I enjoyed reading Lucilla’s poems and like to think that I can hear in them the sort of spare, lyrical tone that bewitches me in Housman or later in Ian Hamilton Finlay. They are poems with a seductive, unsettling and timeless musicality.’
Marie Benoit, Malta Independent, Malta, 25 March, 2012: ‘Lucilla Maclaren Spillane …writes poems which are simple, effective and often extremely beautiful.’*
Dr. Alia Shuaib, Writer and Poet, Media and Publishing Limited, Kuwait: ‘Lucilla’s poems have ‘...a soft and sensitive sense …The language is sweet, colorful, and sensitive. They … touch your soul, and reach deep into your secrets and most intimate corners: a beautiful work indeed.’*
Dr. David Mervin, University of Warwick (author of the Guardian obituary for Roger Duclaud Williams, whose coping with blindness inspired the poem): ‘…the poem, “Another seeing,” movingly evokes the spirit of my dear friend.’

* Indicates that a full review or press piece can be seen at 

The title poem, to which the image on the cover relates, is:

Another Seeing   
“The leaves are red,”
                the child said,
                               “and yellow and gold and brown.”
The blind man smiled
                and spoke to the child,
                               “I hear them falling down….
I know their damp smell,
                I know it well,
                               Autumn brings me joys.
I hear the wind hushing them,  
                as we walk, crushing them,
                               and I love their gentle noise.
In this wooded place,
              feel them touch your face,
                                a leaf river flowing.
As quietly we stand,
                 use your ears, nose and hand,
                                 know another seeing and knowing.”
A note by Lucilla Maclaren Spillane herself:

1“Another Seeing” (Petersham, 2009; Malta, 2012) was inspired by the late Dr. Roger Duclaud-Williams at the University of Warwick. He had been blind from the age of eighteen months and I was amazed at the way in which he had overcome thistreating it as an inconvenience, rather than as a disability. He had read Law at Oxford and then, armed only with his white stick, he had roamed the USA on Greyhound buses. When I met him, he was totally at ease, a constructive conversationalist with a puckish sense of humour. He moved around the Warwick campus at will and without a stick or dog and functioned in the Department of Politics as a highly regarded academic, renowned by both his fellow academics and by his students. On reading the poem, Dr David Mervin, author of the Guardian “Other People” obituary for him (23 July, 2012), commented:”Poetry is not really my thing, but this one movingly evokes the spirit of my dear friend.”

No comments: