CoCoPoPro: Emily "Could work as hard as any b'y"

April 27, 2013

Sometimes a seemingly small, personal project takes on a life of its own, and this was the case for the work that eventually became Emily: Song of a Newfoundland Life (Creative Book Publishing, 2012). Denise Batten was inspired to pay homage to her grandmother, Emily Nolan, who was born in rural Newfoundland in 1990. She began writing, and what poured out was a narrative poem about her grandmother's tenacity and determination admidst the often difficult realities of living in a remote outport.

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Sometimes a seemingly small, personal project takes on a life of its own, and this was the case for the work that eventually became Emily: Song of a Newfoundland Life (Creative Book Publishing, 2012). Denise Batten was inspired to pay homage to her grandmother, Emily Nolan, who was born in rural Newfoundland in 1990. She began writing, and what poured out was a narrative poem about her grandmother's tenacity and determination admidst the often difficult realities of living in a remote outport. She paired this lyrical ballad with stunning pieces of art made by her mother-in-law, Kaaren Batten, who is accomplished in the art of traditional rug-hooking. The result is a charming and absolutely beautiful collaboration that encapsulates early 20th century Newfoundland culture and heritage.


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Q&A with Denise Batten
 
What are you reading right now? 
I am currently reading The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton, with my Grade 7 English students.
If you wrote a memoir what would it be called? 
In Search of the Wild Bologna
 
Where is the oddest place in which you have ever written (or been inspired to write) a poem?   
In a reclining chair, during a dental appointment.
     
Why should people read poetry? 
Poetry is inspirational. A poem is like a beautiful photograph. The poet captures and shares an emotional experience in a highly unique and personal way, often opening the reader's mind to new ideas and possibilities.
 
Who are your favourite poets?
Robert Frost has always been one of my favourite poets. Of course, I will always love reading and sharing the playful poetry of Shel Silverstein.
 
What's one poem everyone should read?
"The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service
 
What's your must-read literary magazine or website? 
There are many great literary magazines and I tend to "read around." I am a member of the Writers' Alliance of NL and they have a website that I always read.
 
What's your guilty pleasure (when it comes to reading)? 
I hate to admit it but I am addicted to Twitter!
 
When did your interest in reading/writing poetry start? 
I think I started writing soon after I began to read, as a child. I have loved both for as long as I can remember.
 
*****
 
A junior high school teacher, Denise Batten has been writing poetry songs and stories since her own high school days. Much of her writing has been inspired by childhood memories and personal experiences unique to her rural Newfoundland upbringing. 

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Edited from the original post, published on the LPG blog


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