An interview with Author, Jane Dougherty.

Today I am very excited to have the very talented Jane Dougherty to visit and discuss her latest book. This is a new adventure for Jane as this is a poetry book.

Hello, Willow. Thank you for inviting me to talk about my very first book of poems. 

Hi Jane it’s great to have you here do sit down and have a cup of tea, tell me what made you decide to write a book of poems about the elements

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I write a lot of poems, every day, and although I post many of them, there are still lots left. Some of them I have been keeping because I think they deserve a bit more than to be just one blog post among thousands. A themed chapbook seemed like a good idea. Every time I do some physical sorting, weeding or clearing out, I hurt my back, but sorting poems is a relatively safe activity. When I looked through the scores of poems in the homeless folder, they all seemed to fall into a few main themes, and the first theme I tackled was water. 

That makes a lot of sense Jane, I am all for saving my back too. When did you first start writing and was there a specific reason.

I went to a very special primary school—big shout out for Saint Patrick’s in Birstall—with a visionary head teacher. It was founded by Irish immigrants who wanted their children to succeed through education, and the nun who headed the school through the 1960s and 70s until she left to run a war orphanage in Sarajevo, believed in education, not just the three Rs. We learned about the natural world, about physics and how things work, we had an orchestra, learned calligraphy, meteorology, how to wire plugs and make cheese. And we were encouraged in all kinds of creative activity, all kinds of art, and writing; we all wrote poetry from the age of nine or so. I had an ideal environment for developing a taste for creativity and taking it seriously. Having a father who was a poet and sculptor and mother who was an artist and art teacher certainly helped too.

Your school and teachers sound very progressive and you obviously had a varied education. Would you like another cup of tea.

Tell me Jane who most influences your work.

It probably sounds strange, but there aren’t too many poets whose work I read and reread with boundless admiration. There are individual poems I love, but not many whole bodies of work and none remotely contemporary. Yeats is the poet I love the most and whose words, even when I don’t get all the mystical references, inspire and uplift. Francis Ledwidge too is a favourite and John Masefield, Walter de la Mare. All rather old-fashioned sounding now, in their clarity and lack of self-analysis. The poems point outwards rather than inwards, showing us the world as it is all around us, not how it seems at the back of a troubled head. 

You mention your parents  in the dedication of your book, were they influencal and supportive to your writing.

Both my parents died when I was still in the throes of having babies and bringing up young children. I hadn’t started to write seriously, then, but as I said earlier, they were both artistic and expected that their children would be too. I know they would be proud that I have finally got around to it.

Tell me Jane have childhood memories influenced you much.

I think that a happy childhood has been fundamental to making me what I am. It obviously wasn’t happy every single minute, and there are memories that still make me anxious. Tuesday, for example, will always be music lesson day, when I’d leave school early and walk up the hill to the music teacher’s house with fear oozing from every pore. But it was a country childhood, on farmland at the edge of a small town, and we four children spent most of our time poking about in woodland and along the banks of streams, listening and learning. Although I have enjoyed some of my time living in cities, I have always hankered after trees. Three years ago, we moved from the centre of Bordeaux to the countryside, with a large chunk of land of our own. Too much, really, but sharing a place with trees wildflowers, animal and birdlife, has been a revelation. Who knew there was so much life going on?

Now tell me Jane which do you prefer to write poetry or prose.

I write poetry for pleasure. It’s something that I do in-between doing other things. Often an image will strike me and I jot it down to find that it’s already working itself up into a poem. Poems are short and they can be turned out in hundreds of different ways. I can work with an idea or an image for half an hour and get something that pleases me. A novel is different. If writing a poem is like sketching, or shaping something in clay, a novel is like hacking at a slab of wood or stone. The frame of the story might be tenuous, the characters vague, and all I have to go on might be an opening phrase or an idea from a legend or myth, but it’s there. The hard work is in revealing the story trapped inside and maintaining enough interest in it, because it’s a long job. The two approaches probably complement one another; I write poetic prose and often write stories into poems.

Thanks a lot, Willow, for the opportunity to give some background to what I do and why. 

thicker than water

© mjdougherty

Book details

Link co.uk https://tinyurl.com/y2et7dcr
Link .com https://tinyurl.com/y5ueldrq
Link Australia https://tinyurl.com/yykla7nm

Link Canada https://tinyurl.com/yxu5azlk
Link India https://tinyurl.com/yy6qvle5

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

@MJDougherty33 

©mjdougherty

Jane’s Bio, so you know.

Jane Dougherty has wandered a bit from her Irish origins but still feels close to her roots, especially in the bit of green field where she now lives in southwest France. She writes incessantly, and hopes to continue as long as the ideas keep coming, and the scene beyond the window demands that she take notice.

*************

I have read Jane’s book, thicker than water. It is full of beautiful poetry. It’s a joy to dip into but I read it from cover to cover unable to stop. I can highly recommend it. Here is my favourite poem .

No Light

All is death and the ache
in the breast where the heart is
wave-wrought in cold seas
or on grey pavement, it whispers
in the spray of salt and blood,

There will be no moon this night
no petals on the rose

🌹© mjdougherty

Thank you for visiting Jane it really was a pleasure to have chance to chat.

30 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ritu
    Nov 02, 2020 @ 05:16:45

    Sounds like a lovely book. I identify with so many of your thoughts, Jane!

    Reply

  2. Jane Dougherty
    Nov 02, 2020 @ 08:28:31

    Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    My first poetic interview. Thanks so much to Willow Willers for organising it 🙂

    Reply

  3. The Wombwell Rainbow
    Nov 02, 2020 @ 08:32:38

    Reblogged this on The Wombwell Rainbow.

    Reply

  4. merrildsmith
    Nov 02, 2020 @ 09:56:09

    Lovely to read about Jane! Thank you, Willow, for featuring her here. Her work deserves wide exposure.

    I don’t know how I forgot that we both had artist mothers, but it’s obvious that we would. 😏

    Reply

  5. beth
    Nov 02, 2020 @ 11:02:28

    How wonderful, I love her writing

    Reply

  6. memadtwo
    Nov 03, 2020 @ 01:45:18

    I enjoyed your interview Willow. And I loved hearing about your school Jane–it sounds wonderful. I’m glad to know there will be more books to come too. (K)

    Reply

  7. Blogging_with_Bojana
    Nov 03, 2020 @ 06:46:21

    Beautiful book. I can highly recommend it.

    Reply

  8. Trackback: Willow Willers interviews Author, Jane Dougherty. | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  9. Darlene
    Nov 17, 2020 @ 21:02:18

    Well done Jane. I admire those who can write poetry and prose. A great interview, Willow.

    Reply

  10. Dale
    Nov 19, 2020 @ 04:23:27

    I’m a bit behind – I very much enjoyed the interview between you two lovely ladies.

    Reply

  11. Shivani Gowda
    Nov 20, 2020 @ 08:04:12

    It was interesting

    Reply

  12. OIKOS™-Editorial
    Nov 20, 2020 @ 10:20:55

    Thank you for this great interview, Willow and Jane! Very interesting, and i love her daily poems and writing on her blog too. The new book will also make it for me. Michael

    Reply

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