Our spotlight for January turns to Marcel Wormsley and his new book, In Search of Moonlit Crevices, a collection of "ekphrastic" poetry due to be released this summer. This compilation was designed by Chandler Barton and lovingly illustrated by local artists Elena Reznikova and Olena Zavakevych.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Houston, Marcel Wormsley has been writing since the age of 9. By his teens, poetry would become the primary medium through which his unique voice would emerge. After a 6-year stint in the military, he returned to Houston where he grew up and worked in book and magazine distribution while studying philosophy at the University of Houston. After leaving the industry in 2012, he began the most productive and prolific phase of his writing journey to date, publishing a blog and submitting his work to various poetry journals and contests. An avid volunteer and arts advocate, he balances his engagement in several community-building endeavors across Houston spurred by his faith community (Baha’i) along with promoting the poetry culture and classical music scene in greater metropolitan area.
Marcel also works as a primary expansion officer and mental health/creative arts consultant for EQ Education, a training franchise whose purpose is to design and implement comprehensive and self-sustaining educational programs primarily in school settings that promote emotional intelligence and the building and maintaining of healthy relationships through the practice of creative, diplomatic forms of communication and interaction.
Marcel’s other professional interests lie chiefly in mental health advocacy and the cultivation and nurturing of human creative potential in order to promote emotional healing and wellness, primarily through the exercise and process of reading and writing poetry. To that end, his intent is to become credentialed as a peer support specialist and a host of other poetry therapy-related certifications.
In his spare time, he enjoys organizing and attending classical music recitals primarily through the online community he founded, Houston Classical Music Lovers, as well as attending museums, plays, and other cultural events throughout the city, and communicating with friends and followers on social media. He very much looks forward to embarking on the next phase of his creative journey, hoping to stir as many hearts as he can in the process.
About the Book
We asked Marcel to describe his new book and some of the creative inspiration behind his work:
"This is a collection of poetry written for the most part in the ekphrastic style – inspired by reflection and meditation on various works of art from different time periods. The original motivation for writing them arose from a habit of coming up with snippets of poetic reflection in response to art I would come across on social media and in local museums/art galleries. The snippets were mostly quite brief – no more than three or four lines, but eventually expanded in length, depth and complexity with time and experience.
"Underlying this habit in part was the need for me to track the movement and dynamism of the art itself through words, but more so to harness the raw energy of whatever art piece I happened to come across and channel it into a kind of organic trajectory of transmutation, where the reader would be able to 'see' the art through the lens of the impressions the work communicated to me. In almost all cases this tendency took the poem into a realm of its own, and save for one poem where I explicitly mention the source of artistic inspiration as part of the poem’s identity, I have presented the poetry in this work as stand-alone entities, fully formed and instantiated as self-contained experiences that collectively point to a larger ongoing habit of intentional exposure to great art.
"In keeping with the philosophy of art 'as constant communication and conversation,' I selected about a dozen poems to be illustrated by local artists. It has been a very fruitful collaboration and exciting to see the poems come alive in ways I could have never expected. Many thanks to Elena Reznikova and Olena Zavakevych for their wonderful contributions to this project, as they were essential to helping ensure that the conversation continues.
"A number of poems do not have any particular source of visual artistic inspiration. Some of the poems in this collection were inspired by a general Zeitgeist engendered by major social events surrounding their development, such as the passing of Nelson Mandela (Seed) and the spate of police shootings in America (Bereft of Words – Service and Protection). Other poems attempted to chronicle elements essential to the human condition like mental health, loss, rebirth, and romantic passion. The quartet of poems: Requiem after a Dream, Anatomy of a Tear, Release, and And There I Stood, track the author’s own struggle with deep depression and the process of rebirth, awakening and renewal that blossomed from the depths of despair, leading to one of the most productive and prolific periods of creative output in the author’s life.
"All told, In Search of Moonlit Crevices is a work that celebrates the process by which we come to develop creative insight and harness illumination gained through identifying deeply with the existential implications of art and living in an ever-evolving, ever-advancing society. It is hoped that the reader will be inspired to extend the artistic conversation beyond this work and forge new paths to greater spiritual awareness, creative influence across different artistic media and acknowledgement of how the beautifully variegated nuances of the human condition can serve as both a constant impetus to personal growth and meaningful interpretation throughout time and space."
Underpinning some of Marcel's work are unique physical interpretations of his poetry in the form of artistic illustrations. Elena and Olena conceived the cover art and interior illustrations for the title.
Book Pre-Order Information & Advance Copies
In Search of Moonlit Crevices will release this summer. Pre-orders are being accepted at our bookstore and will ship shortly after release - as always, all of Dawnbreaker Press's pre-ordered titles are signed by the author as a thank you for your support!
Advance readers and review copies are available by request. Interested reviewers willing to share a thorough, honest review of this title can head to our review request form and sign up for our review list. Please note review copies are limited and not all requests can be fulfilled.
Contact & Follow Marcel
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Marcel-Wormsley/e/B07CW256D6