This is a collection of poetry by Rebecca McManus. Several of the poems have been inspired by her favourite poets including, amongst many others, John Wieners, Raymond Carver, Luke Kennard, Jack Underwood, Amy Lowell, Richard Adlington and Charles Simic.
Rebecca was a talented writer and musician with her whole life ahead of her. Sadly this was cut short when she was killed by a speeding driver whilst waiting at a bus stop. She was just 21 and weeks away from graduating from the University of East Anglia with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
She has previously been published in Cadaverine Magazine, Ellipsis Magazine, MISO magazine and University of East Anglia anthologies. She was a commended Foyle Young Poet in 2010 and has performed in the West Midlands, Norwich and London, including at the Southbank Centre as part of the Poetry Parnassus in 2012.
In her Twitter profile she described herself as an "Intellectual in waiting, wannabe poet and pun loving beret-ista." She was a kind, loving and generous girl who would do anything for anyone. She was such a gentle soul but had a real zest for life and living. Who knows what she could have achieved? The world could have been her oyster.
She has been described as an exploring and adventurous poet and was thrilled to have had some of her poems published. She dreamt of eventually being able to publish a volume or several of poetry - a dream she sadly never got to see. It makes us extremely proud to be able to do this for her now. This is a collection of her work as it was when she died, therefore several of her poems remain untitled. No doubt she would have re-written others, ever the perfectionist. I hope wherever she is that she is happy with what we have published.
Rebecca's poetry is meant to inspire, for you to look around and celebrate the spirit. "You, I, and the sky" - Rebecca's poems seemed like little adventures, and she loved life's little adventures. If a train journey could take longer so you could see the Olympic park under construction, then so be it - it meant you were cramming a little bit more living into the day to push out the hum drum and let more light in.
We don't know how many photographs of Rebecca exist. We do know that she smiles in most of them. She was never weary of life - she planned so many things and reached out to experience what she believed in. Although she did not live to see them, she had tickets to see Kate Bush and John Baez in concert in the same week. How many people managed to get tickets for both concerts, I wonder? Rebecca would have known the value of going to those gigs. She would have celebrated the quality and sentiment behind the artists' lyrics in the same way that she had appeared to have collected every record ever produced by Ralph McTell - another artist whose simplistic compositions offered an invitation to reflect on the world around us. And that is what Rebecca did in a way that was filled with gentleness and kindness.
Our beautiful girl was loved by so many and is missed by everyone who knew her - this is a collection of her poems for you to enjoy, we are so proud of her and all that she achieved in her short life. We will love and miss you always Bec x