I’m pleased to announce my January Author Newsletter is available to read/subscribe. To do so please follow this link:
I have uploaded several new poetry readings to TikTok.
Please see my page for new uploads to my TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@apollo2362
i have been experimenting with TikTok. If you would like to check out me reading a number of my poems on TikTok please follow this link.
Born From Stardust and Other Poems By Victoria Zigler – Book Review
The title poem in this collection begins as follows:
“We’re born from stardust, you and I,
And that alone’s the reason why
I’m pretty sure that when I die
I’ll join the stars up in the sky.”
Born From Stardust is a beautiful poem, and the book of the same name is a highly enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Amongst my favourite poems is “When Mummy Missed Story Time”, in which the poet poignantly describes the emotional reactions of a young child when it’s mother won’t read a bedtime story due to her fear that she has the Corona Virus, and her very natural desire not to pass on the infection to her son/daughter.
There are several other poems which touch on the pandemic, including one dealing with the impacts of social distancing on the individual and on society as a whole. I can relate to this series of poems, and it is a topic which I have, myself tackled in my own poetry.
Other poems deal with the threat posed by climate change. Again, this is a fine series of poems.
The serious poems are interspersed with lighter pieces such as “When Even the Beach is to Hot”:
“You know the temperatures are too high,
When even the beach is too hot!”
The above poem is especially apt at the moment given the very high temperatures we have been experiencing here in the UK and elsewhere.
I have read a number of Victoria Zigler’s poetry collections, and in my view this is her best thus far.
(Note: I received a free copy of Born From Stardust and Other Poems” in exchange for an honest review)
You can find Born From Stardust and Other Poems here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stardust-Other-Poems-Victoria-Zigler-ebook/dp/B095Z78L8P
Shall I intrude
Into their quietude?
The wind sings
Time has stopped,
For those below.
I have the clock
And somewhere to go.
But the wind sings
Softly to me
In the churchyard tree.
An interesting post entitled “What Prose Writers Can Learn From Great Poetry”, https://emmalee1.wordpress.com/2021/06/30/what-prose-writers-can-learn-from-great-poetry/”.
The past 16 months have been quite something, as many of us have noted, and with everything going on in the world, as well as some personal struggles – including a situation where I ended up moving twice in six months, the second time pretty much from one side of the UK to the other, and the death of a family member I was close to – writing seriously took a backseat.
However, despite everything, and even though if you’d asked me I’d have sworn I was getting no writing done at all, I managed to write some poetry, which I was pleasantly surprised to learn when I added them to the handful of poems I’d written but not yet published pre-pandemic, and sat down to create a book out of what I’d written, actually ended up being enough poems to publish two books rather than just one. Well, I suppose I could have put them all in one, but I wanted to publish the specifically pet-themed poetry separately.
Anyway, it’s amazing how those few moments of scribbling down your thoughts all add up, isn’t it?
So, “Pawfect Pet Poems” and “Born From Stardust And Other Poems” have been made available as eBooks and paperbacks, with audio versions planned for the not-too-distant future.
Details for both titles are below, as well as links to some of the places you can find them. Enjoy!
Pawfect Pet Poems
A short collection of poems of various lengths and styles, all with one thing in common: they were written for – or about – some of the various pets my hubby and I have had.
The poems in this collection are mainly about chinchillas and dogs, though other types of animals – in particular degus – sometimes make an appearance too. All poems are captioned with details of the pets they were written for or about.
Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/x/id1569416410
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940164916978
If you’d like to add “Pawfect Pet Poems” to your Goodreads to-read shelf, you can find the book’s Goodreads page at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58130121-pawfect-pet-poems
Born From Stardust And Other Poems
A selection of poems of various lengths and styles, exploring a variety of themes and subjects.
Topics explored in the poems that make up this collection include – but are not limited to – animals and nature, writing and creativity, death and grief, as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/born-from-stardust-and-other-poems/id1569621201
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/born-from-stardust-and-other-poems-victoria-zigler/1139582322
If you’d like to add “Born From Stardust And Other Poems” to your Goodreads to-read shelf, you can find the book’s Goodreads page at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58169072-born-from-stardust-and-other-poems
Victoria Zigler is a blind vegan poet and children’s author. Born and raised in the shadow of the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, she moved away from Wales three times: once to spend six months living in Alberta, Canada, the other times to spend a few years living near Hastings on the South-East coast of England, UK, each time returning to Wales. Now she lives in Wales again, along with a chinchilla named Mollie, a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis, and her Canadian husband, Kelly.
Despite spending far too much time in hospital, and eventually losing her sight to Congenital Glaucoma, Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, with no plans to stop any time soon. So far she has published 11 poetry books and 46 children’s books. Tori is also a contributor of the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, as well as the Poetry Treasures anthology. Additionally, her Hermann’s Tortoise, Artemis, was featured in both the Magnificent Pets Coloring Book For Children and the Magnificent Pets Mandala Coloring Book For Adults.
Vegan due to both a love for animals and dairy allergy, as well as an Eclectic Pagan, Tori describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world. She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time, but is most likely to be found playing with her petkids, curled up somewhere with a cup of tea and a book, or trying to keep one step ahead of those pesky typo fairies while writing her own books.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Find Tori’s books on…
…Along with a variety of other retailers, such as Audible, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
Volumes fill my room.
A girl’s sweet perfume
May make me smile
For a little while.
Poetry survives, our brief lives.
Whilst the linger of fingers
From the present time,
Are caught in rhyme
Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
In one of the most acclaimed novels of recent years, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England.
Narrated by Kathy, now 31, Never Let Me Go dramatizes her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world. A story of love, friendship, and memory, Never Let Me Go is charged throughout with a sense of the fragility of life.
Hailsham is a seemingly idyllic setting for privileged boys and girls. It is a boarding school with acres of land, in which the welfare of the children and their education is overseen by “the Guardians”.
Cathy and her friends are encouraged to produce art, the best of which is taken away by “Madame”.
As the novel progresses, the reader is left with a growing sense of unease. Why is “Madame” fearful of the children? And why does she take their best work away to “the gallery”?
There is no cruelty at Hailsham, yet Miss Lucy seems troubled and attempts to communicate to Cathy and her friends something of their fate when they leave Hailsham.
As the story unfolds, we learn (following the departure of the students from Hailsham), of “carers” and “donors”. Every student from Hailsham (and the other institutions in England) must take their turn caring for donors, before themselves becoming donors.
The children reared at Hailsham, and other similar institutions are clones whose purpose is to provide organs to non-clones.
Much of the horror of the story lies in the euphemisms employed to describe horrific acts. The word donor implies a willing person who provides a kidney or other organ for reasons of altruism. However, in Never Let Me Go the students/clones have no option other than to furnish their body parts. Again, donors do not die, rather they “complete”.
There is no mention of any secret police in the novel. Therefore it is not clear how the state ensures that the clones fulfil their destiny and donate organs. Donors are not (as in Huxley’s Brave New World) subjected to intensive conditioning, yet there is no indication that any try to avoid their fate. This is, for me an issue with what is, in general a very well written novel. It seems almost incredible that none of the clones would attempt to rebel against the system.
There is talk by Ruth, Cathy, Tommy and other students about the possibility of students who have produced great art being, somehow able to defer their fate as donors, particularly if they can demonstrate that they are in love. To find out whether this is, in fact the case, you will need to read the book.