“Poetography is an art form that merges poetry and photography,” Allard, who currently lives and works in New Brunswick, Canada, explains. “I enjoy working in both words and images. As a poet, I like to tell stories in a succinct fashion, using an economy of words. As a photographer, I try to find the image that creates an emotional resonance with the poem. Combining the two media gives me a greater range of expression than I would have with photography or poetry alone.” Allard prefers the simplicity of nature in her photography.
"Her writing is Purdyesque", says poet, publisher, Chris Faiers
Chris Faiers was also a founding member of the Canadian Poetry Association, (CPA Official Website), with James Deahl, Shaunt Basmajian and Wayne Ray and a founding member of Haiku Canada, with Eric Amann, George Swede, Margaret Saunders and others. In 1987 Faiers was the first recipient of the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award for his book Foot Through the Ceiling (1986). He moved to the Kawartha Lakes area of Ontario in 1989. He worked at the library in Stirling, Ontario for 10 years.
"This slim volume is a fitting ode to the geography and the cultures of two far shores sharing the same ocean. The poems are accessible and unpretentious, but never simple. They capture the rhythms of local speech, the images, the history, in way that only those who've lived long along these shores can. Written in English, with fine French translations, as well as Shetland Islands dialect,it's an engaging read presented by two poets - Donna Allard and Nat Hall - who know their regions well."
Executive Director Writers Federation of New Brunswick
ARTS EAST REVIEW
October 26th 2013
From Shore to Shoormal ~ D’un rivage à l’autre
Poems by Donna Allard & Nat Hall
Broken Jaw Press
Two prolific poets/poètes share a fascination for language; an attention to minute detail lyrically explored to become worlds of their own; a geographical and spiritual connection to the Atlantic Ocean and its offshoot waterways…Donna Allard and Nat Hall combine their works, inspired and penned from their Shediac Bay (New Brunswick) and Shetland Island (Scotland’s northern archipelago) homes, to create a collaboration: From Shore to Shoormal (D’un rivage à l’autre).
Each poet embraces her own expressive style and observations, and yet their mutual bond is genuinely apparent throughout the entire tome. It is as if you can picture Allard and Hall standing each on her own shore or shoormal communicating to the other with timeless messages dug up from somewhere deep inside. Appropriately Hall writes in “Atlantic Home”:
Oh, wow, I found a bottle in the sea.
it spoke of shores,
my horizon can imagine…
From Shore to Shoormal transcends expected descriptions of natural landscapes to yield a cornucopia of themes: navigation and battles, heartache, memories and love, pollution and extreme weather, history, culture and livelihood. For instance, a whole story is told in Allard’s “Northwest Passage”. An excerpt reads:
like a Steven King novel, all roads leading to the wharf,
clogged with fog, dreamlike…
cigarette lit, deep sigh, a distant horn heard…
ball cap removed, reshaped
The fact the poems are presented in both English and French is a real treat; some are even written in the Shetland dialect, and others incorporate expressions of Hall’s home. Even without being fully versed in each language, it is intriguing to explore the changes in rhythm and sound, even slight meanings, when comparing the translations. It is equally satisfying to read each version aloud feeling your tongue move in novel ways to produce melodious or elegiac tones.
Hall writes that words hide in stones. Both poets have successfully quarried verse and visions for many a reader—perhaps while sitting on their own shoreline—to enjoy and ponder. ~ Michelle Brunet