Turkey Tales A Bodrum Travel Memoir in VerseIt’s one thing releasing travel guides, but when I decided to write and publish my first collection of poems, I suddenly became very nervous about releasing my words out into the world.

Poetry is so personal, and I know it’s an acquired taste. But my rhymes aren’t high-brow – they’re a light-hearted journey under the guise of a Travel Memoir in verse.

I searched all over the net to find another travel memoir that is written in poetry form, and couldn’t find one – so maybe I’ve created a new sub-genre.

I hope that people see this book as a travel memoir that just happens to be in verse, rather than a book of poems about travel.

I’ve been writing a narrative travel memoir for nearly a decade .. but it will be a few more years until it’s published, so these poems are a great way to share the journey me and Red are on.

I’ve been so surprised by the response to my book  release — I had no idea that so many copies would be downloaded in the first couple of days.

What’s been really interesting is the different poems or lines that have resonated with different readers.

Red’s favourite poem is “Turkish Coffee is my cup of Tea” – and his favourite lines are:

A market man, who smiles with his eyes; his
hands caked in dirt, then wiped on his thighs.
Both gnarled and rough he waves them about.
Then a smoke-clad voice delivers his shout.

Coincidentally, these are the very same lines that Annie from Back to Bodrum blog picked out in her view of the book. Annie also had this to say about Turkey Tales:

I’d like to recommend this collection of 16 poems to anyone who has loved and left Bodrum, is still living on the Bodrum Peninsula or has an idea in their head that one day they too will sit on a bougainvillea strewn terrace, sipping iced rakı and grazing on samphire and olives as they watch the sun sink behind the islands.

On Debbie Young’s book blog, she picked out these beauties as her two favourites:

“Martha’s Vineyard of Scattered Words” pleasingly concludes:

Turkey spread its wings in me,
Those rhymes took flight,
Soared happily.

Who knew my words could entertain,
Spoken verse,
Shy writer?
Slain!

and

“Enjoy the Dance”, in which the intrepid Artale reminds us that there are adventures awaiting us elsewhere, if only we dare strike out to find them, as she has done:

Such a vision, such a view,
Teases us with what we knew,
Was waiting if we took the chance.
So now we just enjoy the dance.

Debbie also gave me a boost of confidence in her approval of the brief introduction to each poem that I included in the book.

Her debut collection of jaunty, fun verse is an easy, quick read, neatly presented, with each poem prefaced by a brief explanation in prose of how and why it came to be written. This makes it a very pleasant read, allowing breathing space between poems, and adding value to each piece. I felt as if I was watching a one-woman stand-up show, and this format felt more personal and engaging than the poems would have been on their own.

My ebook as a one-woman stand-up show? I love it!

I was in two-minds about whether to include these intros, because most poetry books I’ve read seem to want to allow the reader to make their own interpretations. But I chose to set the stage in order to bring the reader into each scene, and then let fly with the poetry.

If you fancy a lighthearted read about Turkey – try my Turkey Tales, it’s available to download from Amazon. (and for a limited time only – it’s free).