Seeing ‘Subsong’ Soar | Notes from Holly Corfield Carr’s Book Launch

 Melody Gillet/2018

Melody Gillet/2018

Subsong is a book of poetry put together by a team of students at Falmouth University and published by The National Trust. It was written by Frieze Prize Winner Holly Corfield Carr and illustrated by Falmouth MA Student Antonia Glücksman. The launch of the book took place at the South West Outdoors Festival in East Soar.

Saturday 6th October 2018. It was a cold and windy day on the hills of East Soar in Devon. The sky was growing darker and threatened rain at any moment. Yet there was excitement in the air. It was finally time to share our publication with the rest of the world. All of us at the South West Outdoors Festival were ready to see Subsong’s debut.

Before the launch began, we got to spend some time with Holly as she took us on a walk around the site of East Soar. We were able to get a feel of the poetry through her eyes, allowing us to see the humanity behind Subsong and catch a glimpse of the inspiration behind the words. She also pointed out the many places she tripped over, getting a little too adventurous on her first visit here.

Returning from the walk, a sense of anticipation built among the publishing team as the launch approached. We all gathered in the Swallow’s Nest, a small barn at the centre of the festival. It was the perfect place for our launch; the twinkling fairy lights that hung on the ceiling added an extra cosiness to the setting which was only augmented by the roasting fireplace. The festival-goers started to filter in from the crisp air, mingling together while they enjoyed a complimentary beer from the small bar we’d set up at the back of the room. Holly and Antonia talked a little to the side before Holly made her way to the front. The shuffling of people came to a stop as children and adults took their seats, ready to hear her read.

Hearing Holly read her poetry was such an extraordinary experience. I was seeing her words in a new light. The interaction between her and Antonia was such a lovely way to end the launch. They talked about their respective processes and how their styles were more alike than they had initially thought. We got a chance to see poet and illustrator complement each other in real life and not solely on the page.

 It was a wonderful event. Seeing the publication that the entire team had spent so many months on come to an end filled us with a sense of pride and relief. We had done it. And at the end of it all, though we couldn’t say that our day was as blue as the pages of Subsong, it was definitely just as bright.

To see more of Holly’s work and purchase Subsong, please head over to her website.


 by Daniella Ferguson-Djaba