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My Mother’s Life Story

Victoria Winifred Author Interview

From Peacock Lane: the Poetry and Prose of Emily Evans Volume 1 is a collection of evocative poetry and prose written by your late mother. Why was it important for you to share these works?

As her loving daughter, it means so much to me that my mother’s life story, personality, and perspectives will live again through these brilliant writings now accessible to the world. Publication of her work is the fulfillment of one of her dreams. I’m thrilled to announce that “From Peacock Lane” is already available for pre-order, and will be out in plenty of time for National Poetry Month in April.

What poem in this collection do you feel embodies who your mother was the most and why?

Emily told me that the last poem, “By the Door”, was written about me when I was going through a trying time. But I believe the piece better reflects her own fortitude because of the many serious difficulties she overcame throughout her life. In this poem, a small bloom of forsythia, serving as a metaphor, survives a cold, icy winter by holding onto its faith that spring will return. Here is an excerpt:

“A beleaguered blossom

brave as any lonely


on a ravaged moor”

What were some goals you set for yourself in publishing this book? 

Before her passing in 2017, my mom gave me three large envelopes of her writing, “in case you can ever do anything with it.” I also have many of her journals, which I will evaluate for publication after the first three volumes of her work are completed. Currently, the working title of the entire series that will include all these texts is, “The Essence of Emily Evans.”

The publication of “From Peacock Lane” will be the first step in bringing that essence back to the world in a meaningful way. My next goals are to promote this first book of the series and then complete the rest. As you might guess, it’s been an emotional journey putting this project together. As I proofread and organized her poems, I heard her “voice” and experienced her with me again in a way that readers and writers can understand.

When will book 2 be available? Can you give us an idea of where that book will take readers?

I’ve looked through the second envelope, and there are approximately 50 typed poems, numbered in the order she wished to have them shared (thanks, Mom!). These writings also cover the breadth of her life, but go further ahead. There is a disquieting pre-9/11 poem about the Twin Towers, and a fascinating account of her transatlantic vacation.  So, the next book, “From Deer Path Trail,” will also conjure up a gamut of emotions, with twists of humor guaranteed. The readers will continue to encounter both delightful and jarring metaphoric visions. After my own next book comes out this spring, I will start scanning the typed pages from the second envelope into text, handle the layout and proofreading, and will again engage the wonderfully talented Luisa Galstyan for the cover art and illustrations. Ideally, “From Deer Path Trail” will be available before the end of the year. Thank you so much for letting me share these details with you and your audience.

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“From Peacock Lane” is the first published volume of poetry and prose by Emily Evans (1925-2017). Chronologically organized by the locations where she lived, this symphony of intensely descriptive pieces begins with nostalgic and dramatic moments from her years on a farm in Ohio in the 1930s. It then moves through her years in the Cazenovia Creek area of Buffalo, NY onto Brooklyn, Greenwich Village, Cocoa Beach, Florida, and back to New York again. The collection is filled with lyric poems of nature, and thrilling, delightful, and sometimes wrenching images of her personal experiences.

From Peacock Lane

From Peacock Lane: the Poetry and Prose of Emily Evans Volume 1 is a collection of evocative poetry and prose written by Victoria Winifred’s late mother, Emily Evans. It’s a unique and personal glimpse into the 1930s, featuring nostalgic moments in time, from fabric textures and living on a farm to more impactful experiences that can be unexpected and, at times, conjure a sense of fear of the unknown or sadness.

Evans does an exceptional job of creating a vivid atmosphere so that the reader is immediately transported to a cornfield with chirping crickets, to the scent of brewing coffee, city scenes, and the rugged countryside. Each poem brings a slice of the past to life, with just a few, vibrant words that ignite the imagination, painting a clear picture in the reader’s mind. I found the book easy to follow, with groups of poetry and prose divided into themed chapters, which flow smoothly from beginning to end.

Evans masterfully evokes a strong emotional response with a few, strong words and phrases in each poem. I enjoyed her work’s simplicity and the natural flow of one piece to the next for seamless reading. It’s a great book that deserves to be read in one setting, over a weekend at a cottage, or in a quiet location, where you can absorb the author’s scenery, tone, and message. It’s an easy book to re-read and reflect on the author’s experiences, feelings, and the historical setting, which I found intriguing, and kept me turning one page after another.

From Peacock Lane: the Poetry and Prose of Emily Evans Volume 1 is a wonderful collection and a very promising start to a series of poems and prose. It’s a fantastic book with a refreshingly simple but engaging style. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from the author.

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