A full house gathered at the Playhouse for the launch of Guildhall Press’s latest book - the debut collection of Catherine Canning’s ‘Inch Days’.
The launch of this array of poetry and paintings, under Guildhall Press’ EVE Imprint, took place on November 11 and attracted people of all ages and walks of life.
Here, hidden among haunting rustic landscapes, lurks a secretive world of nature and its inhabitants, where the reader is pulled into rich scenes of vivid image, smell and colour – all captured with innate sensitivity and understanding.
Inch Days maintains a sharp respect of memory, history and existence, skilfully touching on the treasured intimacy of seclusion and Canning’s love of the wild, revealing scars and beauty at every turn.
“In this collection I attempt to capture my love of nature, of Inch Island and the sense of belonging I felt while living there.
“I took inspiration from the seasons, particularly lambing time, the return of the swallows to the shed, the habits of the badger and the comings and goings of the swans on the lake. From the landscape that quiets the mind, to the smells and the sights of the creatures that were less curious of me than I was of them,” Catherine said.
“My paintings, often primitive in style, evoke the simplicity of the island. I spent much of my time looking at the view: the changing sky and the ever- moving cloud formations; the surface of the sea, one day like glass, the next rough and wild; the distant hills, often blue, then grey, then brown. I felt compelled to paint them and it was there that I first picked up a brush.
Catherine Canning is a self-taught artist and winner of the Best Collection of Poetry at the Charles Macklin Autumn School of 2006. Inch Days is her debut collection of verse, complemented by evocative paintings illustrating the calm, rural beauty of Inishowen in County Donegal.
“This magical collection blends verse and images to portray a special place in an exceptional way. Canning is a poet on the edge of something special,” says Jenni Doherty, award-winning poet and author.
‘Inch Days’ – Poems and Paintings by Catherine Canning is published by Guildhall Press and is now available from: www.ghpress.com and all good bookshops. Hardback, £11.95.