6 Things With... Louise Mather, author of "The Dredging of Rituals"
In The Dredging of Rituals, Louise Mather offers careful and deliberate insight regarding her own experiences with menstruation and undiagnosed endometriosis, using surreal imagery to connect these experiences to the natural world. Mather's poems are sharp and poignant, whilst tenderly revealing moments of gentle beauty and softness. Slivers of hope glisten through darkness in these abstract poems, presenting an unbridled connection with the reader that invites an opportunity to look within, with awareness, at how far we each have come and how the past, although lingering at times, can provide us with hope for the future. Lindsey Heatherly, author of GOLDEN HOUR MINUS THE GLOW (2021)
Louise Mather is a writer from Northern England and founding editor of Acropolis Journal. Nominated Best of the Net 2021, and a finalist in the Streetcake Experimental Poetry Prize, her work is published in various print and online literary journals. Her debut pamphlet ‘The Dredging of Rituals’ is out with Alien Buddha Press, 2021. She writes about rituals, ancestry, motherhood, endometriosis, fatigue and mental health. She loves dark poetry, old books and has a cat or two.
Welcome Louise, such a pleasure to have you here! Can you tell us a little more about your debut collection "The Dredging of Rituals"? What were six things that went into the writing of this book? Blood, rituals, trauma, grief, plagues and mythology. When the pandemic began, in lockdown I found myself reading Frazer's The Golden Bough, thinking about archaic rituals, the rituals we were carrying out, and how this related to the trauma and illness I had experienced growing up. These elements fused together and felt like dredging rituals from some deep collective unconscious, hence the title of the book.
Five things you need to get some writing done? A quiet space I can collect my thoughts, books, whether it's poetry, novels or anything that can provide inspiration - I love going through old books and have some of my grandparents' with beautiful ornate covers. I always have a list on the go and notes on poems/ideas. Artwork/artefacts/antiques I find inspiring or a scenic view/walk, often once I'm in the zone I don't notice my surroundings, but it's a nice way to begin.
Four types of readers who will enjoy this book? Anyone interested in rituals/mythology, if you have been through anything similar with menstruation, endometriosis, chronic illness, disability or mental health. My writing delves into birth, death, love, hope, grief, which I think are universal themes I would hope people can connect with, and anyone who enjoys dark, abstract, surrealist style poetry.
Three challenges you face as a writer? Fatigue and ill health, finding time as a mother especially during lockdown, also needing to learn more about the business side of writing and the publishing process - when you think you've finished writing a book then you realise there's editing, submissions, contracts, promotion etc.
Two writers that have influenced your work? Sylvia Plath, not just for her words; after reading her journals and letters I admire her determinism and organisation - truly an inspiration. I owe a lot Nikki Dudley, streetcake and other writers and editors who first published my work and read early drafts of the book. Nikki is an amazing inspiration with her own work and businesses, she's been incredibly kind and supportive and I'm very thankful.
One word to describe this collection? Blood.
"The Dredging of Rituals" is out with The Alien Buddha Press, and available here. You can connect with Louise on twitter, or on her website.
Disclaimer: "EMC's 6 things" interview series seeks to promote the artist and their featured writing and is in no way an endorsement of any of said artist's services, opinions or other work outside of this feature.