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Naomi Writer's Statement

I had no idea when I started writing poetry as a frustrated housewife in the 1950s and 60s that I would end up as Poet Laureate of a small city. Looking back, I have no idea why I chose poetry over macramé or watercolour painting to vent my despair. There were many years with my second husband when the idea of writing poetry never appeared on my horizon. When I started to write again it wasn’t as catharsis, but because, after living in Japan for a couple of years I was hooked into my childhood love of penmanship, in this case shodō, Japanese calligraphy, and, on its trailing strokes came haiku, a poetry form that captured me for the next many years. Soaked in the haiku world, I came across tanka, 5-line Japanese poetry form and, having felt I had lingered long enough with sensing-focused haiku, I moved to tanka which allowed my intellect and feelings to overtly display themselves. All this while I had written the odd longer poem, when it took me over, and had also published many personal essays. Putting the two forms together I invented Espoe – essays with poetry embedded in them. After more than fifty books, I see my writing life has been a long, wonderful journey, mixing with many writers and artists and loyal readers. I hang in because I am curious as to what my pen will offer me next.

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