Tuesday 13 December 2022

















Olivia Harrison spoke about one of her favourite spots in the city and her new book of poetry
Harrison has expressed joy about her return to Liverpool as she hopes to show a new side of him to fans.

Olivia married George - famed for penning the likes of Here Comes the Sun for the Fab Four - in 1978, and was with him until his death in 2001. Her collection of poems, Came the Lightening, was published last month (November 2022) but has been years in the making.

Olivia told she started writing in "2018 or 2019", but when 2021 came around - two decades on from George's death - she realised she could release a collection with one poem for each year without him.

She said: "Twenty years just seemed far too long. I don't know where that time went.

"We've curated his music, done a documentary, we've remastered his music - I wanted to do something from me. From my heart, something original.

"Every single poem gives an unknown side or some tiny little detail. Poetry, you can write anything; a leaf, the wind blowing, the look in his eye. Those tiny details. Really that's what the book is, it's about inner feelings and our core."

Olivia said the process has been "very satisfying" and wanted to express herself about the things she holds dear, including "nature, George, our life together. Emotions and grief".

She added: "It is very autobiographical, but in a different form. I think writing a story or book about my life like 'and then I did this, and that' would have been boring for me."

George with Olivia, 50th Birthday Party In Fulham, London

She also shed light on her creative process: "I started writing the last poem first. I was thinking about all the people who've lived in my house - it was built in the 1800s. It's an old house and I thought 'well, I'll be the next one out of here'. Then I just kept going."

Olivia struggled to pick a personal favourite from the book before settling on 'Treetime'. She said: "It sort of tells it all I think. I'm writing to George and about him, but it's really about me. What I'm feeling and what I experienced."

And what would her late husband think of her collection? Olivia thinks he may have lifted some lines.
"I think he'd really like it. I think he'd probably tease me to death about it. He would probably steal some lines from me. Sometimes I would write things and he'd say 'hey that's pretty good'."

Olivia will be reading from Came the Lightening on Wednesday, 14 December 2022, at the University of Liverpool's Tung Auditorium. It comes a month after she sat down in New York with legendary film director Martin Scorsese to discuss the book.

She said: "I'm always happy to come to Liverpool, it reminds me of George's aunts and uncles, brother and his father - I never met his mother - it's nice. I always feel good when I'm there. I knew so many people from Liverpool in George's life."

Olivia also has a soft spot for a particular part of the city centre - Hope Street . Former ECHO journalist and Beatles' press officer Derek Taylor actually gifted the couple its namesake: "When they were selling the big old iron street signs in Liverpool he bought Hope Street for us. It weighs a tonne, it's out in the garden."

While Olivia admits she wasn't expressing herself much creatively in her marriage, being with a Beatle certainly changed her perspective.

She called it "a different kind of life", she added: "There's that parallel thing - the person and the creativity. You can't separate that and have to really respect that creativity in a person. I understand that so much better now.

"A person who's going to be an artist, a writer or a singer, really has to make a commitment to that and can't get really distracted by other things in life. They really have to protect themselves from a lot of the mundane things in the world." 


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