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In memory of Morag Smith

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Author of Spoil, mother of 6, grandmother of 8, poet/writer/artist/activist.

All of us at Broken Sleep Books are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Morag Smith. Morag was a remarkable poet, and an even more remarkable person. She was an artist who knew how to make words dance, and how to join us in celebration of this world we share.

When I first came across Spoil I was stunned to read such sublime writing coming from my hometown of Redruth, and excited at the prospect of working with Morag. I contacted Jennifer Edgecombe, excitedly, and told her of these brilliant poems, these tributes to Cornish Bal Maidens that had previously been so neglected. Jennifer too found the magic in Spoil and delighted in working with her to bring the book to publication.

It became apparent, in working with Morag, that this ability to give a voice to those that had gone unheard was something she practiced throughout her life. Her poetry allowed stories to be dug from the Earth, dusted off, and given new life in the lyrical dance of her syntax. It is what Morag practiced, the act of offering a revival of the breathless, a platform for the forgotten, and a song for those that had no longer remembered the words.

I live by the mantra that it is better to check your neighbour has enough food than to check if they have more than you, and Morag exemplified that selflessness throughout everything she did. She passed away surrounded by her family and those she loved, and leaves us with her poetry and art as testament to her incredible generosity, life, and talent.

Penelope Shuttle called Morag's poetry 'original and brilliant', and Katrina Naomi said 'in Morag Smith, Kernow has a powerful, essential, contemporary poetic voice' and that voice remains, as essential as ever, in everything Morag wrote, and in everybody she inspired. All of us at Broken Sleep Books were delighted to work with Morag, and to experience the person and poet she was.

1 comentario

Jane Newberry
Jane Newberry
14 ago 2023

I feel honoured to have heard Morag read her own poems not long before she died. Her passing is a great loss to the Cornish poetry scene. Her "Spoil" lives on.

Jane Newberry

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