Bruised Fruit by Michelle Gerrard-Marriott
Poetry can be the vehicle for truth. Poetry can be the only way to take us to an experience. Poetry can be the way we discover our own language. I am always blown away by my dear friend and incredibly talented renaissance woman, Michelle Gerrard-Marriott from thevibrantkitchen. This woman is a force to reckon with. She always (and I mean always) shows up as an incredible friend and support system, she cooks the most miraculous plant-based vegan recipes on the daily, and shares her beautiful and heartfelt poetry and health journey with her community. This woman has been through so much with her health and in life, and I feel that this book touches on her power, which is to find the nectar from various moments and cherish them with love. Get your copy of Bruised Fruit, and be prepared to fall in love and be taken away by some of life’s sacred moments.
Q&A with Michelle Gerrard-Marriott author of Bruised Fruit
Q: What inspired you to write Bruised Fruit?
A: So many life experiences that all occurred within a short period of time. The loss of my best friend. She passed away after a long battle with Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. She was 28 when she died. My own journey with illness. That has branched down so many roads and left me wondering if each breath is my last. Navigating mental health after loss and illness. And the love that saved me from it all. The love of everyday people. The love of animals. Love that transforms. This book was also inspired by people who shared intimate stories of their own lives. Battles, struggles, losses. It truly is a celebration of all our broken pieces.
Q: What is the book about?
A: Love, loss, finding different facets of ourselves, endurance…life. Each poem is a reminder of all we are capable of while not running from the shadows. Rather learning to sit within them. Be present. And allow the pain to stay a while.
Q: What's your routine or process around writing?
A: This is such a good question. I don’t have the best answer. Words have always come to me like a succession of waves. From when I was a little girl I had an uncanny need to tell stories. I loved listening to people talk about their life. I loved the details of their faces. I loved the laugh lines around their eyes, the dimple on their cheek, the freckle above one of their eyes. My process is being with people. Listening to them. And allowing the words to come. Also allowing myself to have weeks where nothing flows. Forced writing, in my case is not pretty. I have to be called to tell a story. To translate onto paper a feeling, a memory. Something.
Q: What was your experience with self-publishing?
A: It was amazing! I had some hiccups when it came to pre-ordering but I got through it. I love that I have the ability to bring a book to life when I want too. Not having to wait or be accepted by anyone else. This book especially was so personal. It was an honor to be able to put it out into the world by myself.
Q: What would you do differently next time?
A: I would not mess around with pre-ordering hosts. Instead I would host the pre-order on my own website. That is the only part I would change!
Q: Who is this book for?
A: Anyone who has ever lived and lost. Anyone who was experienced illness. Heartbreak. Incredible Love. It really is for all people.
Q: Who are some of your favorite poets?
A: Oh this list could get real long. But I will try to keep it at my top 8. John Keats, Sylvia Plath, Suli Breaks, Claudia Rankine, Terrance Hayes. Maya Angelou, Rupi Kaur, Kei Miller… So many more.
Q: Why release this book now?
A: I am one who always thinks what other time do we have other than now? I think the way we often push things to the future is a stark reminder of how often we forget we are not promised tomorrow. I live with an illness that at any point, during any day could send me into anaphylactic shock. All I have is now. And really… all we ever have is this very moment in time. If anyone takes something from anything I write… I hope it is this. Live today. Love wildly. Never wait to say I love you.
Q: What other projects do you have coming up?
A: I am knee deep in two more books at the moment. My cookbook, The Vibrant Kitchen & Home will be releasing in January 2019. And a second poetry book which I cannot share much about right now is also in the cards for early 2019. I am beyond excited to share more and to continue to write and tell stories.