Happy coincidences

Basil 2

Early last year I was contacted by Rod Dowling wanting to use one of my poems in the NCEA practice exams he sets. He mentioned his brother Basil was a poet so I went along to the local library and delighted in discovering Basil Dowling’s poetry. One poem struck me as being perfect for our cards so I tucked the idea away for future reference.

Later in the year Janie Porter, one of my Bellamys at Five exhibition artists, contacted me to say she had an exhibition in Christchurch  – 18 paintings based on Basil Dowling’s poem, Canterbury.

I then remembered ‘that’ poem I wanted for our cards so I contacted Caxton Press to see if they knew where I should go to seek permission for its usage. Bruce from Caxton put me in touch with Basil’s daughters, Imogen and Virginia. They were happy for me to use the poem but they’d never heard of Poems in the Waiting Room. Emails flew back and forth with explanations and questions about the project…..   In  2004 the sisters put together an edition of their father’s selected poems which was published in Austria and distributed in New Zealand to bookshops and university libraries. Two days before Christmas I received a parcel  in the post, a copy of Selected Poems from Imogen and Virginia.

Through Poems in the Waiting Room I’ve met an amazing and generous array of poets, artists, publishers and readers. I’m hoping 2014 will bring me many more instances of,  one thing leading to another!

Ruth

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