Available now from Oloris Publishing, Peter Kenny’s book of Middle-earth inspired poetry, Dreams of Another Land, explores the history and happenings of a faraway land that still feels very familiar to us. Small folk, dragons, warriors, ladies, and wizards and their adventures are described in rhythmic language that is enjoyable to read, either aloud or silently. Beautifully complementing the text are Sue Bradley’s watercolour illustrations. Their soft, yet bright, colours and delicacy of line are perfectly suited to “Mr. Proudfoot’s” stories.
Dreams of Another Land is a beautiful merging of the artistry of images and words, one flowing into the other. It is as though there was a fifth Hobbit adventuring through Middle Earth and beyond, recalling his impressions of a world far more beautiful and dangerous than our own.
With the simple language of “Uncle Proudfoot” in verse form, drawing you in, the poems take you to “Another Land” while also allowing a glimpse of the majesty of Tolkien’s works through the eyes of a well-travelled Hobbit sharing his wisdom with the younger generations. With so many styles to choose from there is something for everyone as you take turns reading this wonderful book by the fireplace, with a mug of ale in your hand and perhaps a pinch of Old Toby.
Kenny is a retired teacher based in Brisbane who possesses one of the most significant personal collections of Tolkien memorabilia in Australia and the world. Peter has had a passion for everything Tolkien for four decades and he has become a recognized authority in the field, sharing his knowledge and passion for Tolkien’s stories with adults and children around the world through a series of presentations and events at schools, libraries, conventions and festivals.
During his forty years as a teacher, Kenny shared Tolkien’s world with hundreds of students through reading stories, composing, and art. “Dreams of Another Land had its beginnings in the classroom,” he explained. “I often read The Hobbit to my students and developed literacy units based on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Through these units, I encouraged pupils to write stories and poems about imagined lands, characters, and creatures inspired by Tolkien’s stories. I often wrote poems and short stories as examples for students to inspire them. Some of those poems have been included in this publication.”
“My Alter Ego, Fortinbras Proudfoot, was created a decade ago when I was doing The Hobbit as a unit of work with my Year Seven class. All the children were given Hobbit names which were created by an online word generator. The teacher had to have a Hobbit name, so I modified mine into one I liked, which was Fortinbras Proudfoot. I have kept the name ever since and use it as my pen name for poems and stories I write, and of course it was selected for my Children’s Literacy Foundation.
But his writing and love of Tolkien didn’t end in the schoolroom. Kenny shared, “When I retired, I continued writing as a hobby, and I have often used some of my stories, songs, and poems in presentations for children and adults at various venues both at home and overseas. Many of the poems in this publication were inspired by people I have met at home and during my travels through Europe and to New Zealand. Others were written in response to places, events and experiences during those travels.
“‘Morning Star, Evening Star’ was originally a classroom composition, which I re-wrote and expanded for my visit to Tolkien’s grave site in Oxford, where I read it in the company of other devotees. “Adventure Under Southern Skies” was inspired by my journey to the world premiere of the first Hobbit movie in Wellington.
“‘Warrior Princess’ is a poem about a young friend in Brisbane who loves to cosplay at conventions, dresses at our events as Arwen, and is also a horse lover who loves riding her own horse.”
Kenny shares his hopes for his book: “Lovers of Tolkien’s Middle-earth will recognise many of the characters and stories referred to in these written works but often with subtle differences. Those who are not devotees to Tolkien’s stories will hopefully find the imagery in each poem/story a world of fantastic imagination.”
What reviewer and Tolkien fan Maggie J Bailey PhD. had to say sums it up well! “Here we may wander in delight with the dwarves, hobbits, elves, wizards, and other folk of Middle-earth, and forget for a little while all the trials and tribulations of this modern world. Go and lose yourself in this bit of Paradise!”
You can order Peter Kenny’s Dreams of Another Land from Oloris Publishing! To read some samples from the book, click on the images below provided by Oloris Publishing.
About Oloris Publishing
Oloris Publishing is a dynamic venture that seeks to expand the vision of traditional publishing by welcoming and showcasing vibrant, new voices, and embracing various media for their expression. They believe that the publishing process should be a true collaboration, in which authors and illustrators are very involved so that their own voices truly shine. Visit Oloris at olorisbookshop.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.