POTB is lucky to receive submissions from around the world, not just Scotland and the North East. Poet Elizabeth McCarthy, from the United States, noted she’d have loved to join our recent in-person launch of Issue 17, if only it weren’t for the 3,000 miles of distance she’d have to travel. Luckily for us, Elizabeth kindly agreed to send in her own blog post detailing her personal experience with poetry.
When my copy of Pushing Out the Boat, Issue #17 arrived, I was immediately impressed by the quality of both poetry and print with its riveting artwork throughout the magazine, particularly the vibrant colors and graphic design of its cover by Orla Stevens. This magazine sits on our coffee table as a display of beauty and identity. As a poet, I’m proud to have my poem, “Scuttled Memories” published with so many amazing poets from the north-east of Scotland and beyond. I was particularly happy to see that my fellow Lockdown Poet, Suzanne van Leendert from the Netherlands, has her poem, “Return to Sender” in this issue as well.
I live in an old farmhouse in northern Vermont, in Caledonia County, named to commemorate the large number of Scottish settlers in this area. Retired from teaching, I started writing poetry when the world closed down for the pandemic in 2020. Looking to connect with other poets, I met Ian Aitken, founder of the Lockdown Poets of Aberdeen, Scotland, in an online chat-room for the Billy Collins Facebook broadcast where he mentioned his online poetry group. This small group of a dozen or so poets have met online via Zoom most every Tuesday for the past three years, sharing and discussing poetry. We recently self-published a collection of our poetry called, “Lockdown Poets – still here” where all proceeds from the book goes to the Cornhill Community Centre of Aberdeen, Scotland which assists disadvantaged families in their area, also a sponsor of The Lockdown Poets.
I find comfort in being part of this world-wide poetry community that holds center in the north-east of Scotland, and appreciate the acceptance of the many poetic voices from distant shores.
About the time I joined the Lockdown Poets, I became a member of the Poetry Society of Vermont. I recently redesigned their website where you’ll find a link to my chapbook “Winter Vole” which was published in 2022 by Finishing Line Press, in 2024 they will be publishing my second chapbook, “Hard Feelings.”
Many thanks to Elizabeth for her inspiring insight – we hope she continues to branch out with her work. Find “Scuttled Memories” alongside many more fantastic poems, stories and artwork in POTB Issue 17.