poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘gathering

a preface for a poetry manuscript

with 3 comments


As followers of my Blog will know, I am working during these first months of 2015 to finalise, for eventual publication, a manuscript of the poetry I wrote for my ‘growing and gathering’ project (see the Category ‘growing and gathering’ for more information).

Now that the poetry is ordered within the manuscript, I have to pay attention to the ‘Front Matter’. This includes:

title:  ‘within easy reach’
dedication: the manuscript is dedicated to my husband

table of contents: a listing of the poems
acknowledgements: all the people I want to thank and the support of artsnb and the Creations Grant


The above four items are straightforward.  I needed some information about the next three:






Foreword: written by someone other than the author of the book, usually an authority – celebrates the work and provides credibility.

Preface: written by the author of the book – includes the purpose and scope of the work,  explains the origins of the central idea in the book, and may acknowledge those the author wants to thank.

Introduction: written by the author or an editor – includes information on the contents of the book, the author, and the audience.



Many of the poetry books I have in my library do not include a Foreword or Preface, and Acknowledgements are often placed in the back of the book.  I find this is true of collections where the theme of the poems is not immediately obvious.  But collections about a particular subject, such as those about history, often have a Preface or Introduction.




For example, Jack’s Letters Home (Cynthia Fuller (2006) Stable Cottage, U.K., Flambard Press) includes an Introduction. The book is a collection of gritty poems based on real letters written by a British soldier in the First World War.  The Introduction tells the soldier’s history, the story of how the letters were found and a little about the characters in the poems.




I have two poetry collections by Shari Andrews.  Both focus on history.  Crucible (Shari Andrews (2004) Canada, Oberon Press) is an insightful collection of poems depicting characters and events in the life of Saint Catherine of Sienna.  It includes a Foreword by the poet.  The Foreword includes background on Saint Catherine of Sienna, information about the inspiration for the book, and acknowledgements.


The Stone Cloak (Shari Andrews (1999) Canada, Oberon Press) is a collection of tactile, sometimes fierce, poems about the lives of settlers of New Denmark in New Brunswick.  The Foreword includes information about the poet’s connection to the community and briefly describes the history of New Denmark.  It includes acknowledgements.




Although it is not a book of poetry, in an 1843 edition of A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens includes a brief Preface, consistent with the spirit (!) of his story:

I have endeavoured, in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each
other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it!

Their faithful friend and Servant, 
December 1843.

(Source:, accessed February 23, 2015)


a salad at 'Heavenly Hash'

a ‘grown and gathered’ salad – leaves and flowers of violet, leaves of mint and dandelion, bean sprouts and green onions



My poetry manuscript has a very specific theme – the ‘growing and gathering’ of local foods.  Since all of the poems are about a particular topic, I think including a Preface is appropriate.  I want the Preface for my manuscript to:

  • be short (less than a page)
  • inspire my audience
  • include the purpose of my poems
  • provide an overview of the contents


When I was young, I always skipped the Preface of any book I read.  Now, I read the Preface first, eager to find information about the process the author followed in conceiving of or writing the book.


Copyright 2015  Jane Tims



Written by jane tims

February 27, 2015 at 6:57 am

December garlands

with 2 comments




in December


we gather pine cones

wreaths of lion’s paw

hawthorn, cedar boughs

and juniper


we walk the wild ways

pruners and scissors

baskets and stout cord

to bind bunches of



balsam and holly

berries and garlands

of evergreen, red

rosehips and acorns,

gilded, needles and



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© Jane Tims 2014

Written by jane tims

December 1, 2014 at 7:33 am

the growing part of ‘growing and gathering’

with 13 comments

So far in my posts, I have talked mostly about harvesting wild edibles.  I am starting to get a little produce from my garden, so I thought I’d do a post for the ‘growing’ side of ‘growing and gathering’.

I have only a small garden, laughable by many standards.  We have too much shade and since I won’t allow the nearby trees to be cut, I must be content with spindly carrots, sorrowful pea vines and a plethora of slugs.  However, I also have lots of perennials and a small herb garden, enough to keep us in regular small harvests of additions for our dinners.

On Monday, I decided to prepare my favourite lunch, couscous, with a gathering from my garden.  I used:

~ a handful of black and red currants (just ripening this week!)

~ a sprig of thyme

~ a few leaves of oregano

~ a small spray of parsley

~ a handful of chives

~ one clove of garlic from the shadowy garden.

To this I added a small purple onion from the grocery store…

I chopped the onion and the herbs quite fine…

I sautéed everything in olive oil, very briefly (to keep it all crisp and keep the currents from going mushy)…

and added the mixture to my couscous, prepared with boiling water and a quarter teaspoon of powdered chicken bullion.

A delicious dinner, a little tart, but perfect for my taste buds!!!!

©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

July 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm

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