So my first book of poetry is being published in April 2020 by Turnstone Press out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. “Lunatic Engine” took me more than a decade to put together and it’s got a lot going on. So much going on in fact that I’d like to introduce it to you slowly, and I’m going to introduce it through a couple of my favourite other interests: fountain pens and cursive.
While the book is about many different things, one thread running through it all is correspondence. It takes its start from the letters Galileo received from his daughter, Suor Marie Celeste, who spent her entire adult life in a convent along with her sister. The poems in the first section of the book are all titled with the chapter titles from Dava Sobel’s wonderful biography “Galileo’s Daughter” which are in turn quotes from the actual letters Suor Marie sent to her father.
Letters. Written on paper. With ink.
It may be a common complaint that handwriting anything on paper these days is rare, many primary and elementary schools don’t even teach the skill anymore, but I have had the opposite experience. Handwriting is swinging, at least in my small circles, back on that analog pendulum along with vinyl records. I love writing things by hand. The first draft of “Lunatic Engine” was written completely by hand with a Faber-Castell “Ambition” fountain pen, with a medium nib, that Sue got me for a previous (and I shudder to think how previous) milestone birthday.
So to share that particular joy, I have created a series of cursive writing worksheets which use a few lines from each poem in my book to help you practice your cursive. There are also blank lines below the lines from the poems for you to try your hand at copying as well as tracing. And because the tools you use to write are inseparable from what you write, as well as from the act of writing itself, I’ve included space on each sheet for you to note which pen and which ink you used
Each week until the book launches in April, I am going to complete a worksheet and post a photo on my instagram feed with notes on which tool I used. I will post the blank sheets as pdf’s here for you to download, print and complete. A new lesson with new lines will be added to the document below so that by the time the book comes out, you’ll have not only had a chance to read a couple of lines from each poem, but you’ll have written them yourself.
So there you have it: Learn Cursive, with lines from Lunatic Engine.