Twenty Poems for George
Story and photography courtesy of Genesis Publications
Musician, songwriter, and philanthropist George Harrison changed the world as a member of the Beatles and later as an award-winning producer for some of the world’s biggest stars. To his family, he was the world. Now fans can get an in-depth look inside the soul and relationships of Harrison’s life through a new book of poetry, Came the Lightening: Twenty Poems for George, written by his wife, Olivia Trinidad Harrison. In this homage, which was released by Genesis Publications on the summer solstice of June 21, 2022, she dedicates twenty poems to mark the twentieth anniversary of George’s passing.
Came the Lightening sees Olivia examining the intimacy and emotional connection of their relationship in a memorable series of poems. She delves into the phenomenon of losing a partner and the passage of time. The poetry is accompanied by a selection of photographs and mementos curated by Olivia, including some never-before-seen images of herself and George.
As a contributor to the previously published books Concert for George, the revised edition of I Me Mine, and the bestseller George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Olivia Harrison is no stranger to writing beautiful words with an ethereal connection to love. Now, in her first departure from biographical nonfiction, this book is set to establish her as a new voice in poetry.
Olivia says of the collection, “Here on the shore, twenty years later, my message in a bottle has reached dry land. Words about our life, his death, but mostly love and our journey to the end.”
Martin Scorsese, a longtime friend and the director of the 2011 documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, writes, “Olivia evokes the most fleeting gestures and instants, plucked from the flow of time and memory and felt through her choice of words and the overall rhythm. She might have done an oral history or a memoir. Instead, she composed a work of poetic autobiography.”
Words about our life, his death, but mostly love and our journey to the end.
Olivia Harrison first worked in the music industry in Los Angeles for A&M Records, where she met George and later helped run his Dark Horse record label. She also coproduced the Grammy Award-winning film of the 2002 Concert for George, which she organized in his memory. She received an Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2012 for her role as producer on the Martin Scorsese-directed documentary. She was also a coproducer on the recent multi-award-nominated documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.
In late 2005, coinciding with the reissue of the album and film from the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, Olivia established The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF with an initial focus on programs in Bangladesh. The fund has also assisted children affected by civil conflict, natural disasters, or poverty in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Angola, Romania, the Horn of Africa, Burma, Nepal, and Mexico.
Olivia is a director of the Material World Foundation, a charity set up by George in 1973, overseeing its ongoing work in encouraging and promoting the exploration of alternate and diverse forms of artistic expression and philosophies. The foundation has lent its support to many established charities around the world. Olivia and the Material World Foundation also partner with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation to ensure the preservation of film history from across the globe. It has worked on restoring such diverse works as Charlie Chaplin’s The Count, the Mexican classic Enamorada, and the British film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.
Came the Lightening: Twenty Poems for George is now available in hardcover at all major booksellers. Special signed limited editions are also available through the publisher’s website.
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Visit Genesis-Publications.com/oliviaharrison for further details, and follow Olivia on Instagram @oliviaharrison. For more news on Geroge’s legacy and projects, follow @georgeharrisonofficial on Instagram and @georgeharrison on Twitter.