Bri Bruce … naturally!

BRI BRUCE … NATURALLY! 

I’m writing the draft for this post while sitting in an old Corfiot olive grove close by to where I live. It is a glorious place which always fills me with joy and wonder.

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I have with me a beautiful collection of poems I’m currently reading called The Weight of Snow by the award-winning poet Bri Bruce. I have to say that the quality and depth of her work has left me spellbound.

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Bri Bruce

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Bri Bruce’s home is in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California. She has lived in and around this area for most of her life and her work indeed reflects this amazing natural backdrop.

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My regular readers will no doubt be well aware that my remit in these posts is to talk about the writing rituals & routines of the individuals I feature. I tend to shy away from discussing any author’s work in depth because I can never do it justice in such a short space. All I can say with any authority is that you need to read Bri Bruce’s poems because they are  wonderful. 

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Bri’s work is drawn from often deeply personal experience and observation. Her poetic canvas is the natural environment in which she exists. The imagery is quite stunning and at times reminiscent of luminaries past such as Robert Frost and Walt Whitman. She has been variously described as a daughter of California’s wild places and as the worthy heiress of Mary Oliver.
 
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I wanted to select a poem from The Weight of Snow to share with you. It was a difficult choice because there is so much that is good in here. I finally selected a poem called Rainsong.

Rainsong 

What of this winter here?
The unhappy song of rain and
wind in the bay laurel,
rainwater in the fountain
a mixing of what is ours,
and what is not.

I go to the meadow
when the storm has slowed
only to see what has changed,
what unknowable thirst was quenched:
the howl and fury in the night
brought down the tall sequoia
and with it one hundred years,
the osprey’s nest, my childhood

Bri Bruce

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Bri Bruce, awarded the PushPen Press Pendant Prize for Poetry for her piece, “Rainsong”.

In a recent interview, with fellow author Susan Salluce, Bri was asked to desribe the inspiration she draws from nature and the places in which she prefers to write …

I’ve always been fond of the outdoors. I was the kid that, given the choice, would spend all day outside climbing trees, rolling in the grass, getting stuck in the mud up to my knees, and coming home with bugs in my pockets. My parents both had a huge part in raising me to be nnature:ature-minded. I grew up camping, fishing, backpacking, surfing, and diving. There really wasn’t any adventure sport or outdoor activity we didn’t do. It has instilled in me a passion to seek the out of doors and immerse myself in the natural. Even at a young age, my upbringing created this profound fondness and appreciation for the natural world that is impossible for me to shake. I’m in love with it, and this shows in my work.

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I would prefer to be outdoors writing longhand rather than indoors on a computer. I still write everything by hand when I’m not using a typewriter (I know, I’m old school). Strangely enough, I also enjoy writing in loud, crowded places. I’m a regular at a few coffee houses around town where I like to hunker down in a corner for a while. I also enjoy writing when I travel and find that some of my best work comes from these instances. I usually keep a travel journal, but I often gather together lines of poetry that I later work into a cohesive whole.  

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My idea of a perfect day to inspire my writing would be some sort of adventure to somewhere I’ve never been. New experiences always stir something in me. I like to go on these “adventures,” so whenever I get the chance to do this, I am immeasurably happy. I find I enjoy them most alone, which is something that others often find interesting. I’m extremely independent and I like exercising that independence. I would rise at dawn, watch the sunrise, and spend the better part of the morning tromping around. I would, however, want to share my perfect day with friends and family at some point, perhaps after my adventure and over a good meal. At night, I would want to sit at a desk with my typewriter and a glass (or bottle) of wine and write and listen to music, staying up late until I’m too tired to think! Drifting off into a fitful sleep full of consuming dreams is always a great way to end the day.

Click here to see the full interview.

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The Weight of Snow: New & Selected Poems by B.R. Bruce, published by Black Swift Press. Available through Amazon. 

Bri Bruce’s website

Thanks for dropping by. Happy trails.

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10 responses to “Bri Bruce … naturally!

  1. Thank you so much! A lovely piece. I appreciate all your kind words 🙂 and that you enjoyed my work. I have a memoir/journal coming out this summer called “28 Days of Solitude”–it’s a glimpse into the writer’s psyche during my month-long stay in the woods during a residency.

  2. I’ve been nominated for an award! It’s a blogger award disguised as a way to get to know other bloggers and promote each other. Yay – let’s have a blog-in. Hug it out everyone!!! http://tonyburgess1969.net/2015/05/07/the-liebster-award/

  3. Bri Bruce is going on my list. You live in Corfu? We live in Crete!

  4. “Rainsong” is a nice poem. It conjured an often overlooked moment in a day: when the storm is passing by after doing its work.

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