"and with a burning pain in my heart I realised how unnecessary, how petty, and how deceptive all that had hindered us from loving was. I understood that when you love you must either, in your reasonings about that love, start from what is highest, from what is more important than happiness or unhappiness, sin or virtue in their accepted meaning, or you must not reason at all."
-- Anton Chekov, About Love
Until it doesn't any more. The poems of Candy Gourlay are heavy, pregnant with the constant assurance of death, and the knowledge of the agony that awaits us all in a lifetime. There are six billion ways to handle pain, and Candy seems to have insight on all of them, exploring our trauma and loss with courage, honesty, and, dare I say it, more than a little bit of wisdom.
Winner of the 2003 Kota Press Anthology Competition and a finalist in the Poetry Institute Africa Annual Awards, Candy M. Gourlay's work has received recognition from local and international communities.
Her poetry, prose and essays have appeared in an assortment of print and online publications including 2River View; Beatnik; Extraverse; Feminine Writes; Flaming Asian Ink; Jack; Lingerings; Megaera; Niederngasse; Reflections; Slow Trains; Side Reality; Taj Mahal Review; Tapestry; The Breath; Tin Lustre Mobile; Wide Thinker; Wired Art From Wired Hearts; and elsewhere. Upcoming publication includes Golden Thread; Little Brown Poetry; Locust; Peshekee; Voices; and others.
At present Gourlay (im)patiently awaits the adjudication of the prestigious 'Annual Sanlam Literary Awards of South Africa', to which she submitted a manuscript a short while ago. The forty two page collection of thought commences with a lament written on the one year anniversary of a suicide death, 'Eighteenth Day Elegy'. The ensuing thirty pieces are presented as shots of memory which collectively form a virtual atlas of existence altered by imperfection and finality. Entitled 'Days of Cloth', her collection is a transparent portrayal of the multifarious faces and consequences of tragedy -- a suspended awakening from a dream in which the poet has not been asleep.
Gourlay was born in South Africa where she continues to work, write and live with her husband and three children. She believes hope is a place you can go dancing and doesn't like wearing shoes. Drop her a line at email@example.com.
Candy's works here at Unlikely Stories are:
Pieces of Agony
Eighteenth Day Elegy
Jazz at Four a.m.