From Metaphor to Memoir
Poets often bring personal memory and experience to their writing. To connect with our 2018 theme of The Self, two poets who have recently published books which combined personal memoir with selected poems explain why they chose this format to tell their stories. Two revelations, each coming to light twenty years apart following the deaths of his father and mother respectively, prompted Brian Johnstone to turn a poet’s eye on his 1950s childhood and explore, in Double Exposure, his parents’ lives before and during World War II. He will discuss this with Anne Pia who grew up in the Italian-Scots community of post-World War II Edinburgh. In her memoir, Language of My Choosing, which also moves between poetry and prose, she shares her struggle to bridge the conflict between a traditional immigrant way of life and the attempt to attain her own life goals.