At Corpus: Mary McCallum on her moving poem, ‘C’




If like me you loved reading Harriet Rowland’s The Book of Hat, you will love this.

Mary McCallum talks about the genesis of her poem ‘C’, at Corpus: conversations about medicine and life. The poem is in her new collection XYZ of Happiness and navigates her time with Harriet and cancer. Wonderful!


We were a very new press, barely begun. The daughter of an old school friend had been diagnosed with cancer and was writing a blog. A bunch of us who’d been at school together began to read it. One of our group, illustrator Fifi Colston, sent me an email: ‘You could do worse than make a book about this.’ I agreed. This young woman knew how to write. Her blog posts had strong read-me titles and energetic don’t-argue-with-me first lines. They were focused on one event or idea and they told that story with economy and humour and knew where to end. She didn’t feel sorry for herself. She celebrated life. She often said how lucky she was.


Full piece plus poem here







Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s