Drawing Anglo-Saxon and Viking Treasure: Guest Post by Gilli Allan

To tie in with the release of the gorgeous new cover for Buried Treasure, I'm delighted to hand the blog over to author Gilli Allan: ...

Friday, 2 August 2019

Review & Feature: A Rose By Any Other Name - Joanne Van Leerdam

I've read a lot of Joanne's poetry and rate her very highly as a poet. The first poem of hers I ever read was one called Stained Glass. It spoke to me so vividly, reminding me of a young woman of my close acquaintance, and I bought the volume of poems by the same name. Each entry in the collection moved me, or gave me pause for thought. I remember thinking that this is what poetry is meant to do, to put into words what the reader didn't realise they were already thinking. Since then, I've always thought of Joanne as primarily a poet.

But just recently, she has published a story that almost defies description. Almost, but not quite. A Rose By Any Other Name is a clever re-imagining of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but she has thrown in some fairy tales, too, mixing them all together to bring an inventive tale of crossed love, thwarted ambition, and dark magic.

It's a short read, but it's a great read. It doesn't hang about either, but throws the reader straight into the story without preamble. Open it up and whoosh - we're off. A short read, yes, but not a word is wasted.

I'm not quite sure how she did it with relatively few words, but I was able to picture every scene, every face, and hear every word.

The author's ability as a poet is part of the magic, here, I think. Words are always chosen for maximum impact, and to work hard. 

I simply loved the premise of this story. The fairy tales chosen as ingredients were not there by accident, either. All pulled together to make one seamless tale and the whole thing played out as if it has been always told this way.

If you're inclined to check out Joanne's work - and I recommend that you do - I should also mention that I've read, and again thoroughly enjoyed, her collection of poems Smoke and Mirrors. This is another great collection; poignant and again thought-provoking, especially when she writes about the bush fires which affected a part of Australia in 2018. 

Find Joanne on Amazon
and on her Website