Alan McCracken was deeply affected by his wife Elizabeth’s death in 2003. They had been married for over forty years, and in her memory he began to write about their life together as an attempt to find solace and comfort. ‘Harmony’, a word which is inscribed inside Elizabeth’s wedding ring, was his first sonnet. This grew to a collection of fifty, amongst fourteen other poems of varied styles and lengths, and so Sequestered in Harmony was created.
There is a sadness that runs throughout many of Alan’s poems, but even the blackest of them ends on a hopeful note. He finds beauty in the natural world, focusing on happier times, from his and his wife's first meeting, to holidays on the beach, his hitch-hiking and, in later years, driving home to her. These all point back to the book’s title, which indicates how the couple felt, cosy and sheltered in their own world together.
“In the darkest times after Elizabeth’s death, I wrote a few poems, but then remembered that she used to suggest lightheartedly that I might write her a sonnet. I didn’t, I couldn’t; not then. Now it seemed appropriate to write sonnets in her memory,” the author comments on his poetic inspiration.