The project started when Siobhan was invited to write some poems about the Northern Lights to accompany an exhibition of visual art. Within a couple of months she had produced a large amount of new work. I remember hearing it for the first time and marveling at the freshness of the voice she had discovered as well as the sheer volume of beautiful, arresting poems
Since then Siobhan has been on a long journey. She has spoken to Saami reindeer herders and ionospheric physicists, made two visits to Tromso in the north of Norway, seen the Northern lights in all their glory and put on performances at venues as far afield as the Richard Attenborough Centre in Leicester and the Science Museum in London.
Yesterday a crowd of friends, family, poets, novelists and journalists gathered in the Friends Meeting House in Leicester to celebrate the launch of Firebridge to Skyshore, which contains this body of poetry as well as several prose essays on the science and mythology of the Northern Lights.
Siobhan gave a reading from one of the prose essays and performances of some of the poems. I am pleased to say that among the performance pieces was one of my favourites, Flyttsamer on Postcard, which tells the story of one moment on a reindeer drive, captured in the photograph on an old postcard.
There is much to say about this beautiful book that makes an interesting contrast to the pull of digital publishing. Firebridge to Skyshore comes to us from Original Plus Books - who seem to have a list of poetry collections and prose books produced lovingly on a very small scale. The illustrations in this collection are from woodcuts produced by Dolores Logan, Siobhan's sister.
Will we move eventually to a world in which most books are published digitally at very low cost and environmental impact whilst the remaining few are lovingly handcrafted works of art?
I might explore that idea further at some stage. But for now, I can browse my copy of Firebridge, whist looking forward to the next book lunch - which will be on Thursday.