"Imago" was commended in the Cambridge Writers Poetry Competition.
"The White Owl", a sonnet included in Resilience, was commended at the Stanza Competition and read out at the Southbank Centre in London on National Poetry Day in October 2014.
Some poems from A Woman By A Well were read out at the American Mission in Geneva and were broadcast on the BBC and World Radio Switzerland.
An Appreciation by John K. Coleridge, Esq.
In the context of this collection, by the time we reach “Crushing”, we are alive to every word and totally engaged in each poem. The poem, entitled “The Stranger”, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight”, skilfully follows what might be called the S.T.C. line while retaining the poet’s own methods and material. “Well” is full of music. I also very much admired the “The Mirage” and had particular pleasure reading “My Maybe Poem”, “The New Wind”, and “The Birth of Images”. Music again. The last poem brings us back to a very satisfying creative conclusion and to the next re-reading just as it would be with a worthwhile piece of music.
John K. Coleridge (signed by himself)
In Resilience, with her wonderful use of language and imagery, Emily Bilman weaves through the poems with her skilful use of metaphor. Each section of this poetry book reminds us that our own capacity for resilience endows us with the power to survive trauma. As we survive tragedy or misfortune, we begin to evolve personally and grow spiritually. In these poems, the poet pens an understanding of compassion and the connectivity of each of us to each other and each to all, as in ‘Everyman’ – “we are everyman / our eyes shine / like lamp posts / our words are / thwarted angels / each word, a gift”.
Both literally and metaphorically, the poet draws upon a humanistic premise that extends from the mythological dimension to our contemporary values, as in ‘Daemons’. Here can be found the wisdom that swells from an understanding of our struggles in the continuity of time – “my-daemons-in-chaos / vie with my synapses for ideas linked / to metaphors as an old poem / is joined to a new one and I circumscribe / new symbols on words...”
The poems in this book show that the poet herself, has been in those hollows of isolation and solitude and risen from them as can be read in the title poem ‘Resilience’ – “As I entered the tuff-earth’s / Dark recesses, came in and out / Of her damp caves where I saw…” to the final poem, ‘Transfiguration’ – “The woman singing with her desert-voice / transformed the sky and the sand / and the nomad sitting by the barren bush / into one seamless immensity…”.
It might be noted, at least in this reader’s eyes, that the six sections of this book, “Resilience, The Stairwell, Everyman, The Tempest, Faust’s Controversy, Transfiguration”, are not dissimilar to the well known stages of loss and grief. Like Faust to whom the book refers, we have to surpass evil impulses to reach resilience. The modern Faust defies death through the power of resilience. In the process of reading this book, the reader attains not only an existential resilience in his own understanding of man but a personal metamorphosis.
Bruce Kauffman, Author and Poet
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
by Bruce Kauffmann
In Resilience, Emily Bilman reveals that it is only by fearlessly exploring the darkest aspects of oneself that one can glimpse dazzling shafts of light. Like a deep sea diver, she explores the depths of oceans to return with pearls of great price. This journey to the depths is fraught with danger; it is often safer and more comfortable to skate across the surface of life as so many people do. But as writers such as Joseph Conrad have revealed, there is a human need to gaze into the heart of darkness, no matter what the cost. Poem after poem in this collection, is a journey of self-exploration and by following these journeys, readers undertake their own exploration, not knowing what disturbing insights they may find along the way. As the title of this collection suggests, humans have a mysterious capacity to survive such insights; they need not be broken by them but made richer and stronger.
by James Knox Whittet, Poet & President of the Suffolk Poetry Society
Dr. Emily Bilman is London’s Poetry Society Stanza representative and hosts poetry meetings and seminars in her home in Geneva. After having earned her PhD from East Anglia Uni., UK, her poetry book in French entitled La rivière de soi, came out. Poems are published in The London Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Offshoots VII & XII, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Iodine, and The San Diego Annual 2014, Aois 21 Annual in America and The Inspired Heart Vols. 1 & 2, & 3, and Ygdrasil in Canada. Two academic books, The Psychodynamics of Poetry and Modern Ekphrasis were published in 2010 and 2013. More recently, a sonnet, entitled « The White Owl » was commended in the Stanza Competition in London and read out at the Southbank Centre on National Poetry Day. Poems were broadcast on the BBC and on World Radio Switzerland. A Woman By A Well was published in 2014 by Melinda Cochrane International, Québec. The reviews are on http://www.mciwritershouse.com/emily-bilman.html