Sam Burnside to launch two new books

Poet Sam Burnside
Poet Sam Burnside

Derry writer Sam Burnside will see two new books launched tomorrow at the city’s Verbal Arts Centre on Bishop Street.

The first book is a new volume of poetry called ‘Forms of Freedom’ published by Lapwing Publications. This collection follows on from his last venture into poetry, ‘New and Selected Poems’, published back in 2013.

Considerations of freedom, its meanings and its contradictions have long lain at the heart of human discourse. In the new work Burnside presents their unadorned experience as he finds it etched on the faces of ordinary people, discovered on battlefields, in farm-fields, in car parks and chain stores, in church pews or simply on the streets of Derry.

Former Librarian of the Linen Hall Library in Belfast, John Gray said of the work: “Burnside comes inescapably from a community that has chosen endlessly to memorialise or even glorify the sacrifice of the First World War. He offers a moving and terrifying anitodote to any such celebration. Thus, the dissenting tradition is alive and well in Derry!”

On a completely different theme, Sam Burnside’s second book is his second volume of short stories for children.

‘Mrs Nettlebed’s and the Woodlanders is written to be read to and by children. In the richly vibrant collection of stories for the young you will discover the hidden world of the Woodlanders. Hedgehog and hare, Brother Frog and Mother Goose, the distant Town, the Pond, the Dark Lane, the Stinky Stream and above all the Woods themselves come alive as real characters and real places of imagination.

At the core of this magical world you will find Mrs Nettlebed, the strange, mysterious woman who lives deep in the Woods.

These twenty tales about life in the Woods have a cover illustration by Tim Stampton and a frontispiece by Tim Webster.

Both works will be launched at 3.30pm tomorrow, November 14 in the Verbal Arts Centre. Guest speakers are Frank McGuinness, well-known Buncrana playwright and the Duchess of Abercorn who is the founder and patron of the charity, the Pushkin Trust.

Mary Murphy will read from ‘Mrs Nettlebed’ and Zoe Reid from ‘Forms of Freedom’ and Sam Burnside will be there to sign copies. Everyone is welcome to attend.