This is a sequence of poems and stories chronicling the lives and, ultimately, the deaths of the author's beloved mother and father.
These are poems of love, grace, fear, remembering, and devastating sudden loss. Through them the reader is taken on a journey and comes to know who this mother and father were, where they came from, and the riches they gave to their children.
Details take center stage here; the way her mother's hair rises off her forehead, her father's soulful hands atop hospital bed covers, the salt sting of tears on a young girl's face. Of hot fudge sundaes, the pebbly unforgiving surface of diving boards, and the smell of Chantilly that lingers in a closet. Of thick patent leather belts, the rhythmic click of her father's oxygen machine, and her heartbreaking walk through the family home after it is sold.
Each of these poems and essays is complemented by an evocative image chosen from among the works of five award winning photographers.
Tricia McCallum is an award winning Glasgow-born Canadian writer and poet, a Huffington Post Blogger, and a nominee for the 2016 Pushcart Prize.
McCallum is the author of "The Music of Leaving" by Toronto's Demeter Press (2014) and "Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered" (2011). Her newest poetry collection entitled "Icarus Also Flew" was a finalist in New York's 2017 Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize.
McCallum’s unrivalled passion is poetry. Her poem “Thirst” won the goodreads.com poetry competition in December 2011. In May 2012 she again won the Goodreads contest with her poem “There’s Always the Guy.” An Honorable Mention for "How Things Happen" came in 2016. In January 2017 McCallum won the Goodreads contest a third time with her poem "The Things I Learned as Bartender."
An insatiable traveler all of her life, her various, seemingly endless incarnations have included stints as a bartender, flight attendant, shrimp de-veiner, speechwriter, writer of personalized wedding vows, chambermaid, house painter, au pair, TV product pitch artist, short order cook, corporate editor, legal courier and perhaps her favourite, a freelance photographer specializing in black and white.
McCallum’s poem about her mother entitled “To Her, I Was” appeared in the Huffington Post on International Women’s Day 2011. Her poem "The Island Dog" is included in the hardcover anthology entitled Estuary: A Confluence of Art & Poetry, an international poetry and visual arts album published in November, 2012 in England. Two of McCallum’s poems, “Following Seas” and “The Gift of Donovan,” appeared in the first issue of the quarterly poetry e-zine called IMPress, a poetry and art publishing house.
McCallum’s poem “Glowing Tribute” appears in the Key Porter anthology of Canadian verse entitled Barbed Lyres, edited by Margaret Atwood. Cosmopolitan magazine under the editor Helen Gurley Brown published a total of 20 of McCallum’s poems throughout the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, more than that of any other poet. Her poem “No Harm Done” appeared in a League of Canadian Poets’ newsletter. Most recently her poems have appeared online in many poetry journals including Every Day Poems, Poetry Breakfast, and A Quiet Courage.
In her career as a Toronto freelance writer she has been featured as a guest columnist in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and the Financial Post, written for Flare magazine, and lectured on freelance writing at Toronto’s York University.
McCallum also publishes fiction. Her short story “What Gets Lost” was published in the Canadian literary journal Quarry and her short story “Clutter” won a Toronto Star award for fiction writing.
"Put simply, I write the poems I want to read," McCallum says." I have always aspired to write intelligible, accessible poems. I can’t imagine doing otherwise.
"In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. My poems tell of falcons in Ireland, elephants being traipsed through the Queen’s Midtown Tunnel and stray island dogs. About beleaguered mothers and neglected toddlers and subservient wives. About small town cashiers, beauty queens, and neurosurgeons. I am always curious about how people navigate their lives and what it is they struggle with under the surface."
The cover is captivating and evokes memories of classic literature while maintaining a professional air of originality. The poems on the inside match the quality and essence as do the artwork that accompanies them. The poetry has a superb flow. Of course, the subject matter will make you very sad. The loss of one’s parents will be difficult to cope with for many of us. This book may help you to know you are not alone at dealing with the loss. The essays at the end of the book are an excellent addition to the collections of heartfelt poems.
This book contains a beautiful and powerful collection of poems that depicts the respect and adoration that the author has for her parents. It allows a glimpse into their journey as a family, from the beginning to the end. I highly recommend you that you read it, you will consider yourself lucky to be included in the journey.
So moving. Emotionally draining. That’s the sign of a great book. I’ll never forget this series of poems. The imagery sticks with you. The author opens up her life and shares everything. It’s deeply honest, real and engaging. It’s on my top shelf, and always will be.
Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Mother and Father Remembered written by Tricia McCallum. I couldn't help myself. Once I opened the book I read it cover to cover and read some pages twice Beautiful, so very touching and alive with love, loss and memories. Each photo was placed correctly, very appropriate. I would gladly have given this book an A++. I loved every word. I hope Tricia McCallum writes another for all to read. Such beautiful, loving memories to carry with you. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your poetry.. I can not pick a favorite but the father reading his book at her bedside is so telling, warms my heart.
I won this book in a Goodreads first reads giveaway....
This book is exquisite. The poems and artwork are beautiful! The essays are superb! If you haven't already guessed I really loved this book! Yes it is sad but I can relate to losing a parent. Thank you Tricia McCallum for giving me the honor of receiving this treasure from you. A must read!!!