Wilberforce's Neil Creighton's poetry adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear published

Wilberforce resident Neil Creighton has recently had his second book of poetry published in the United States by publisher Kelsay Books, and has a third one on the way.

Creighton was an English and drama teacher at both Hawkesbury and Windsor High Schools, where he could really show and develop his love for literature and writing.

Second book: the front and back cover of Neil Creighton's book of poems Loving Leah. Picture: Supplied.

Second book: the front and back cover of Neil Creighton's book of poems Loving Leah. Picture: Supplied.

But it wasn't until recently that he was able to spend the time to have his works published.

"I love poetry and writing, I've always loved it," said Creighton. "I was around it for so long through my work ... but now I have more time to do it, which is nice."

His first book Earth Music, which was published by Praxis Mag Online, is available for download from Creighton's website.

This was Creighton's first foray into international publication as he could not find any Australian publishers interested enough in poetry.

"I really started writing a lot in 2012 and now have 200 plus published poems," said Creighton.

"It is difficult in Australia to have your poetry published as not a lot of publishers here are willing, they're more interested in other forms of writing.

"It is hard to get your name out there but I found that overseas publishers were just more willing to publish my works.

His second book Loving Leah is an interesting gender swapping take on William Shakespeare's King Lear, through a collection of poems that weave together to create an overarching story throughout the book.

Creighton describes the book as both a portrait of an individual and an exploration of relationship.

"Its main themes are love, loss, grief, the struggle for acceptance and the decline that can come with age," he said

"It is divided into two parts. The first part, 'Five Visions of Leah', is a portrait of Leah in five significant moments of her life.

"It takes the reader backwards, from Leah's last moments to her earliest relationship with her daughter, Cordelia.

Author: Wilberforce's Neil Creighton who has two books of poems published, and a third on the way. Picture: Supplied.

Author: Wilberforce's Neil Creighton who has two books of poems published, and a third on the way. Picture: Supplied.

"The second part, 'Letting Leah Go', explores Cordelia's love, grief and disappointment and traces the development of her acceptance of the secrets revealed after her mother's death.

"As the names suggest, disinheritance is a theme of this collection, but the grief is not caused by material loss. Rather, it stems from secrecy and exclusion from family and the realization of how much extreme age had diminished Leah."

Creighton's third book - also to be published by Kelsay Books - is called Rock Dreaming and will confront the dark past of Australia.

It was reviewed by author and curator Darlington Chibueze Anuonye who said, "Rock Dreaming reasserts Australia's precolonial history, confronts her colonial history, rewrites the history and transcends its endless tyranny with a great anger, a greater insight and a much greater empathy capable of healing the oppressed".

Rock Dreaming is yet to be released but is coming soon.

"I hope to continue publishing," said Creighton. "I have a lot more poems I want to submit."

Loving Leah is available at various books stores including Dymocks and online at Amazon.

Neil Creighton has also made them available through his website https://www.neilcreighton.com/ along with various other poems he has written.

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