Remembering the Future
A selection of poems written between 2007 and 2023 by Janice Dempsey
Paperback. 148 x 210mm, 78pp
Published 1st February 2024
"Janice Dempsey's Remembering the Future is an engaging and authentic collection of poetry which is deserving of a wide readership. Whether, with her painter's eye, she is homing in on the minutiae of the natural world or looking back over the years with her own brand of wry humour and hard-won wisdom, Dempsey is an unassuming yet quietly authoritative poet who says what she means and means what she says."
— David Cooke, poet , editor and publisher and founder at The High Window
“Janice Dempsey’s poems show a love of nature, which she captures in detail, focussing in on the daisy’s knowledge of the time to open, or the landscape through the eyes of a bird in tall grass as it listens for insects and the calls of potential mates. As a visual artist as well as a poet, she brings a sense of colour and light to her writing, while her wide reading of others shows in her acknowledgments when poems have been inspired by poets as diverse as Pablo Neruda, Helen Ivory, Carol Ann Duffy, Elizabeth Bishop and Emily Dickinson. There’s a joyful appreciation of life, and some comedy poems, but no shying away from darker subjects, as in ‘November’:
In November I count the seasons
left within the boundary of my precious life.
I find too few reasons for smiling.
Even here, life is precious, with every drop to be savoured, and memories bear witness to the poet’s keen observation leading to vivid recall. The historic summer heatwave of 1976 is brought to life again, while ‘Midsummer in the Art Room’ is both a surreal and realistic depiction of the schoolteacher’s life, creating fairy-tale props and gigantic versions of everyday objects. Dempsey moves between forms and themes, with her artistic background leading to ekphrastic poetry and poems about artists and their work. Adept at different forms, she has included concrete poems, haibun prose poems and free verse – there’s a celebratory poem shaped like a champagne glass about drinking sparkling wine which I particularly enjoyed. The variety of forms is matched by widespread journeys through different countries, from Ireland and England to Sofia, Rome and Kathmandu, which Dempsey vividly conjures up and then sprinkles her joie de vivre on each experience.”
— Adele Ward PhD (Creative Writing), poet, publisher, and founder at Ward Wood Publishing