The rock face stands before her.
With one finger, she pulls herself blindly up,
Tensed against the weight of watching eyes.
Marilyn with painted-loose smile,
Lost herself on the glossy pages.
Open to the world, her beauty was born
From images others shaped.
Post-Holiday Blues is a traveller’s notebook. Snapshots and souvenirs make up Gerry Stewart’s first collection, as she sketches a poet’s journeys through Greece, Norway, Mexico and other destinations. Each of these poems is an emotional landmark, anchoring places in memory with the intensity of ‘three weeks to discover every inch of a body, four months to learn a city’s backstreets’.
Her precise and poignant language distils and captures locations and experiences lost to time, giving them voices that draw the reader into the moment. There is a self-conscious quality to her poems that echoes with an expatriate’s hesitance about her right to describe and participate in the culture of another country, while at the same time her poems revel in the surrounding beauty and thrill of the unfamiliar.
Gerry Stewart grew up in the United States and left Iowa when she was seventeen to travel in Norway and Greece before settling in Scotland. She is a freelance creative writing tutor and the editor of Grimalkin Press, which produces books and pamphlets for the groups she works with. She received a Scottish Arts Council Award in 2005 to assist in the writing of her first novel, Talking Italian in my Sleep. Her poetry has been widely published in magazines and anthologies in the UK and abroad.