A lovely review of “unexpected blossoming”

Reading Anna Eastland’s collection of poems from her beautiful book, Unexpected Blossoming—a journey of grief and hope led me into her honest, vulnerable, and talented writing. Her therapeutic poetry also opened a personal portal which had long been curtained. Thirty-one years ago, my first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at fourteen weeks. ~Janis Mcdougall

I am honoured to share with you a truly lovely and heartfelt review of my poetry book “unexpected blossoming: a journey of grief and hope.” This review came about by a string of connections…beginning with my former writing coach Caroline Woodward introducing me to her Tofino artist friend Joanna Streetly.

After guest-posting on her poetry advent calendar a few years ago, I returned to her blog to stumble upon a poignant poem about an eight year old boy, William, who disappeared one day by the seaside and was never found. (http://www.joannastreetly.com/written/writing/poetry/). The mournful longing for this little one, mingled with the mindfulness of his abiding presence in the surrounding countryside, made me feel Joanna could understand my poems about losing my baby daughter.

Joanna both bought my book and kindly delivered another copy to her local hospice. Some time later she shared my book with her poet friend Janis, who had suffered the loss of her first baby at 14 weeks. As the poems resonated with her, she generously wrote a short review on Joanna’s blog.

With Unexpected Blossoming—a journey of grief and hope, Anna Eastland offers consolation and invites readers to join a newly formed constellation of broken-hearts linked together by their collective grief. —Janis McDougall

Please visit Joanna’s blog and take a look to read the full review! http://www.joannastreetly.com/blog/april-is-poetry-month-2/

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P.S. My book, which is $10, is available through me on my blog (anna@eastofcrazyland.com) or through blurb.ca.(http://www.blurb.ca/b/7346068-unexpected-blossoming#). If you’re a grieving mama, please contact me about a free copy. 💕

a poem a day for advent

Recently my friend and former highschool writing mentor Caroline Woodward invited me to submit a poem to her friend’s online advent calendar, where a poem a day awaits us, instead of a little chocolate. 

I did send a poem in, and I’m honoured to have it included in author Joanna Streetly’s Poetic Advent Calendar. Joanna is the author of several books and is the west coast rep for the Federation of BC Writers and a long-standing member of the Clayoquot Writers’ Group. 

The poems and photographs by Joanna and various guest poets are poignant and personal…and touch on various themes from the satisfaction of burying ones hands in dough to make a traditional recipe, to the mystery of human suffering and the need for solidarity at all times, and not just Christmas. 

Here is a peek at mine…if you visit her site you can enjoy the other poems, too, such as “Wingless Angels,” “outer isles haiku,” “Stone Flight Requiem,” and “the gladness of stars.”

  

See more at this link: Poetry Advent Calendar

And many blessings a you prepare for Christmas!

soft arms scented with cinnamon and sugar

My big sister—

the poet, the editor, the mediator

the strong survivor,  the loving mother

the beautiful woman

my inspiration, my friend—

gave me this Dutch cake mix for appeltaart

when she last came to visit us.

And though she’s a province away,

when I make it with my girls—

carefully chopping the apples together,

blending in the butter,

brushing with egg to finish the masterpiece—

I am with her, too.

“Lekker gezellig!” deliciously cosy…

The love of my sister

wraps around me like these strips of dough

around the nested apples,

soft arms scented with cinnamon and sugar.