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GLOSSING THE SPOILS
Each poem in Glossing the Spoils works like an intricate time-travel machine, carrying the reader back to the beginnings of Western European literature. Like an ancient clapper bridge with its unmortared slabs of sandstone, these poems step us across the choppy currents of the past 1500 years. Anchored at one end in the deep past and at the other in the turbulent present, they explore interconnections between historical, personal, psychological, and mythic states. Plundering their opening passages from such early texts as Beowulf, The Mabinogion, and The Tain, these glosa address eternal themes of love and war while giving voice to the surreal potency of the Western European imagination.
'Some poetry is written to last. This collection glimmers like an old treasure hoard. Both timeless and contemporary, it calls across the centuries and continents.'
Kevan Manwaring, author of The Bardic Handbook and The Windsmith Elegy
Poetry £7.99 Available direct from Amazon here
CRACKLE OF ALMONDS
Gabriel Bradford Millar
In these renegade poems ranging from 1958 to 2011 Gabriel Bradford Millar presents a spectrum of life, in all its piquant poignancy, with unfaltering precision, defiance, and finesse. From the very first to the very last, the breathtaking skill of this consummate wordsmith does not waver. Many of these poems linger in the air - not least because Millar performs them orally with such verve. She believes: 'that poems, like love-talk, should go from mouth to ear without any paper in between.' On the page her poems' orality and aurality fragrance their presence without diminishing their literary elegance. Continually astonishing, these epicurean poems not only offer a lasting testimony to a life well-lived, but inspire the reader to live well too.
'Feisty, uncompromising, and impassioned ... the author pulls no punches.'
Self and Society
Poetry £11.99 Available direct from Amazon here
THE LONG WOMAN
An antiquarian's widow discovers her husband's lost journals and sets out on a journey of remembrance across 1920s England and France, retracing his steps in search of healing and independence. Along alignments of place and memory she meets mystic Dion Fortune, leyline-pioneer Alfred Watkins and a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle obsessed with the Cottingley Fairies. From Glastonbury to Carnac, she visits the ancient sites that obsessed her husband and, tested by both earthly and unearthly forces, she discovers a power within herself. The Long Woman is an exploration of the sacred landscapes of the past and the secret landscapes of the soul.
'A compulsively readable, & beautifully written tale of love and loss. The interweaving of past and present, the earthly and the supernatural creates a poetic and haunting novel - one that is as uplifting as it is heartbreaking. Maud's determination and endurance is a great testament to the possibilities of the spirit. Her search for something permanent in a transient world is a journey we can all relate to. A great achievement...a beautiful book.'
The Windsmith Elegy volume 1
Available direct from Amazon here
After being sucked through a portal in No Man's Land during the First World War Battle of Mons, Royal Flying Corps observer Kerne finds himself in another world, fighting for his life against his unpredictable pilot. Modern weapons of war have been introduced to the Bronze Age realm of the ancestors with devastating results. Kerne must learn the Way of the Windsmith - a magician of sacred sound who can summon winds - with the help of Merlin, his feathered guide, if he is to stop his power-mad companion. The power of words is set against the power of swords in a deadly battle for control of Shadow World, Earth's symbiotic twin. War comes to the Afterlands of the ancestors, and only one of the airmen can live if both worlds are not to be torn apart by their anomalous presence.
'You have captured the strong physicality of the ancient Celtic Afterlands from their myths and legends, without sacrificing any of their ‘otherness’, their spirituality. It is gripping story made even more poignant and potent for being woven out of familiar and haunting strands from ancient Irish and Welsh traditions, and familiar and haunting images from modern wars…It is a chilling concept that we affect the Afterlands by our actions in this world. It is a thought-provoking book…apart from being a thoroughly readable yarn. I love that your skill in poetry comes through in your prose. I love the quotes at the beginnings of the chapters drawing the threads of time together and weaving a rich tapestry of different, yet similar, realities.' Moyra Caldecott, author ‘Guardians of the Tall Stones’ and many others
The Windsmith Elegy volume 2
Available direct from Amazon here
THE WELL UNDER THE SEA
Imagine an island at the crossroads of time where lost souls find each other… Isambard Kerne, Edwardian antiquarian and First World War observer, missing in action at the Battle of Mons, finds himself in the Afterlands of his Celtic ancestors and has begun the Way of the Windsmith – the path he must take to find his way back home, for he is a man alive in the world of the dead. Having learnt the secrets of Eurus, god of the East Wind, Kerne must sail into the west, to Hyperzephyrus, the Land Beyond the West Wind. With the help of a mysterious boatman called Barinthus, he finally makes it to the fabled Island of the Blessed, Ashalantë, a city in the sea crafted by dreams, where the vision of Plato, Da Vinci, Brunel and others have come to life. Here he has to endure the Circle of Truth and embrace the shadow of his past. He meets Amelia Earhart, legendary American aviatrix of the Thirties, who is assigned to him as his angel to instruct him in the art of flying. As they climb higher they find themselves falling in love, but Priestesses of the Spiral are forbidden to do so. If Earhart breaks her vows, it could shatter the fellowship of the Nine Sisters, and cause the downfall of Ashalantë. Torn between duty and desire, Kerne and Earhart find themselves embroiled in a tragic chain of events that threaten to bring about the destruction of not only this otherworldly paradise, but its shadow: Earth.
‘...for some reason I am reminded of Lindsey's Voyage to Arcturus. Not in content or motifs or imagery, but in the overall feeling. This is a good thing, of course, as it sets the book in a particular realm of imaginative art that is neither science-fiction nor neo-Celtic. The Celtic motifs are used in a very original manner, much superior to the many dreary pot-boiling "Celtic fantasy" novels that are already out there. So the book has great strength and originality.’ RJ Stewart
The Windsmith Elegy volume III
Available direct from Amazon here
THE BURNING PATH
Three strangers meet in a nameless desert and must come to terms with their past before they can escape it: a First World War airman; an American aviatrix of the Thirties; and a French poet of the skies from the Second World War. They are the lost of history and must go into the desert to find themselves. To find peace they must walk the burning path. Each is forced to confront the question: What are you prepared to sacrifice for the one you love?
'His writing extends the reader in the direction of selfhood – that quality that constitutes one's individuality – and reminds us of the limitations of everyday consciousness, but also of how it may be expanded to satisfy the deepest callings of human need. He sees broadly and with compassion. Crucially, he reveals life and consciousness as boundless potential, which is surely the ultimate purpose of all art..' Suite 101
'You use words so beautifully. You describe the interlacing worlds so dynamically and brilliantly.' Moyra Caldecott.
The Windsmith Elegy volume IV
Buy from Amazon here
THIS FEARFUL TEMPEST
Save your country, or save yourself. You decide...
Kerne and Earhart reach Hyperborea, the Land Beyond the North Wind, where the windsmith must master the secret of the Bora if he is to escape Shadow-World – but first he must save it. In an alternative 1940s Great Britain, Kerne is confronted by a dystopian version of his precious homeland – laid waste by prejudice, pollution, and fear. The country is ruled by the fascist army of the White Dragon. Kerne must undertake a perilous journey into the far north to become Hyperion, Lord of the Winds, if he is to defeat Aveldra and the Agents of Discord once and for all. The spirit of the Battle of Britain is kindled as the fate of a kingdom is fought for in the air between Spitfires and fire-breathing dragons. In the hour of his country’s greatest need, a King returns – fulfilling an ancient prophecy – but is too late? The lost of history clash in this epic finale of The Windsmith Elegy.
'...great Manichean vision.' Suite 101
'Kevan Manwaring writes in the bardic tradition of English prose, one which honours the vision of our landscape as sacred ground and knows that our lives and history are at their most intense when lived in close relation to its claims on the soul. His WINDSMITH ELEGY represents an impressive and substantial body of work.' Lindsay Clarke, Whitbread prize winning novelist, author of The Chymical Wedding & The Water Theatre
The Windsmith Elegy volume V
Available direct from Amazon UK here
PLACES OF TRUTH
Journeys into Sacred Wilderness
Poet and psychotherapist Jay Ramsay has been drawn to wild places all his writing life, in search of a particular deep listening experience. Here he shares his soundings. ‘Trwyn Meditations’, set in Snowdonia, begins this 23 year odyssey. ‘By the Shores of Loch Awe’ takes us to the fecund wilds of Scotland. ‘The Oak’ celebrates an ancient tree in the heart of the Cotswolds.. ‘The Sacred Way’ an evocation of Pilgrim Britain. ‘Culbone’ uniquely records the experience and hidden history of the smallest parish church in England in a steep North Somerset valley beneath where Coleridge wrote ‘Kubla Khan’, in a world as much of its own. The final poem, ‘The Mountain’, takes us beyond, in all senses, touching the places where we find I and Self.
As reviewed in Resurgence & Ecologist, Jan/Dec 2013
Poetry 162pp ISBN 978-1-906900- 08-3 £9.95
THE IMMANENT MOMENT
Poems for Now
Foreword by Jay Ramsay
'...light, rich, transparent, resonant...’ Jay Ramsay
The fire in the eyes of a Bedouin camel-herder, the sound of snow falling on a Somerset hillside, the evanescence of a water spout on a remote Scottish island, the invisible view from a Welsh mountain, the light on the Grand Canal in Venice, chasing the sunset on a motor-bike... The Immanent Moment looks at the little epiphanies of life, moments of lucid awareness and personal revelation. Each poem captures these fleeting pulses of con-sciousness in sinuous, euphonic language. A meditation on time, mortality, transience, and place, this collection is also ultimately life-affirming, with poems celebrating both the beauty of the natural and the man-made, the familiar and the exotic, and the interstices and intimacy of love. With humour and humanity, these poems gently encourage the reader to be fully alive in the miracle of each waking moment.
Poetry ISBN: 978-1-906900-13-7 £7.99
THE FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER
tales of initiation
From the vastness of Stone Age Siberia to a minefield in today’s Angola, from the black beaches of Iceland to the African savanna and a Jewish-German cemetery, Karola Renard tells 12 mythic stories of initiation, featuring 21st-century kelpies, sirens and holy fools, a river of tears and a girl who dances on fire, a maiden shaman of ice, a witch in a secret garden, Queen Guinevere’s magic mirror and a woman who swallows the moon.
The red thread running through them all is a deep faith in life and the need to find truth and meaning even in the greatest of ordeals.
“Karola Renard has woven a fine cloth with her tales of courageous, loyaland insightful women. Among her lyrical words we travel to meet the girlon a wind-coloured horse; a resourceful northern huntress; lovers of moonand guardians of shrines; maiden, madonna, witch and queen. The stories roam from ice to island to dusty plain, beautifully touching into the ancientpower of our shared human mythologies as they go.” Carolyn Hillyer, musician & author of SACRED HOUSE Where Women Weave Words into the Earth
“In her lively and vivid stories, Karola Renard points a finger towards themythic threads that run through life’s initiations. Connecting with thatthread is the beginning of finding the true ground we stand upon.” Martin Shaw, author of A Branch From The Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace in Wildness
Fiction, £9.99 ISBN 978-1-906900-18-2
Available direct from Amazon here
SOUL OF THE EARTH
the Awen Anthology of Eco-spiritual Poetry
edited by Jay Ramsay
Soul of the Earth is an anthology of poetry to inspire hope in humanity. Challenging received wisdom and pushing boundaries, these are cutting-edge poems from a new generation of writers who share a love of the Earth and haven't given up on humans either. Vivid, contemporary voices that dare to explore a spiritual dimension to life on Earth and, in doing so, imply that a way out of our global crisis of ecological breakdown, financial meltdown, and bankruptcy of the spirit is to look beyond the impasse of materialism. With contributions from poets in the USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand and Australia, this anthology reaches out across the planet to embrace the challenges and triumphs of being alive on the Earth in the twenty-first century.
21 Poets, 1 Planet...
Diana Durham*Karen Eberhardt-Shelton*Rose Flint*Paul Matthews*Paul E Nelson* Gabriel Bradford Millar*Roselle Angwin*Kevan Manwaring*Jay Ramsay*Dawn Gorman* Alyson Hallett*Jehanne Mehta*Lynne Wycherley*Charlotte Hussey*Margie McCallum* Helen Moore*Aidan Andrew Dun*Irina Kuzminsky*Jennie Powell*Adam Horovitz* Jeremy Hooker
***Honoured with Storytelling World Award 2013***
WORDS OF RE-ENCHANTMENT
Writings on Storytelling, Myth, and Ecological Desire
The time-honoured art of storytelling – ancestor of all narrative media – is finding new pathways of relevance in education, consciousness-raising, and the journey of transformation. Storytellers are reinterpreting ancient myths and communicating the new stories we need in our challenging times. This book brings together the best of Anthony Nanson’s incisive writings about the ways that story can re-enchant our lives and the world we live in. Grounded in his practice as a storyteller, the essays range from the myths of Arthur, Arcadia, and the voyage west, to true tales of the past, science-fiction visions of the future, and the big questions of politics and spirituality such stories raise. The book contains full texts of exemplar stories and will stimulate the thinking of anyone interested in storytelling or in the use of myth in fiction and film.
'Pleasurable reading and rich in insights' EarthLines
ISBN 978-1-906900-15-1 £9.99
***2011 edition - with Afterword by Anthony Nanson***
What do you do when you are torn apart by your ‘selves’? Mary Palmer tells her story though poems, prose and images.
The pilgrim poet, rebel Mordec and tweedy Aelia set sail for Iona – a thin place, an island on the edge. It's a journey between worlds, back to the roots of their culture. On the Height of Storm they relive a Viking massacre, at Port of the Coracle encounter vipers. They meet Morrighan, a bloodthirsty goddess, and Abbot Dominic with his concubine nuns. Omens, chants, curses… During her stay Mordec learns words can heal or destroy, and the poet writes her way out of darkness.
A powerful collection, celebrating a journey to wholeness, from an accomplished poet.
'...curiosity, joie-de-vivre and linguistic facility in abundance, as well as a decency and generosity of spirit that makes them even more readable' Tears in the Fence
Poetry ISBN 978-0-9546137-8-5. £6.99
DANCING WITH DARK GODDESSES
Movements in Poetry
The dance is life - life is the dance - in all its manifestations, in all its sorrow and joy, cruelty and beauty. And the faces of the Dark Goddesses are many - some are dark with veiling and unknowing, some are dark with sorrow, some are dark with mystery and a light so great that it paradoxically shades them from sight.The poems in this collection are an encounter with many of these faces, in words marked with feminine energy and a belief in the transformative power of the poetic word. Both spiritual and sexual, earthy and refined, a woman's voice speaks to women and to the feminine in women and men, often with the rawness of pain and betrayal ("Even Today", "This Voice", "The Small Betrayals"), but also with a resurgent strength ("Derelicta", "The Hungering Earth", "Dakini", "She rides"), or with the calm consciousness of simply being ("Mistress of the Elements", "Mother of Darkness"). The book charts a journey from the abysses of pain and separation from the divine "(Eyeing Death"), of sorrow ("Standing at Golgotha"), of centuries of suppression and the memories of it, but then reaches back out towards transcendence and love, both beauty ("Your Beauty") and lightness of touch ("Would Words Could Dance") showing us what this earth could be. The shock of pain is counterpoised by the joy of living and by the pure and ultimately triumphant dance of life.The poems speak of an openness to life, a surrender to the workings of love and a trust in the Dark Goddesses and their ways of leading us through the dance.
Poetry/Dance/Photography ISBN 978-1906900120 £9.99
Mary Palmer selected poems
edited by Jay Ramsay
foreword by Jeremy Hooker
introduction by Kevan Manwaring
Knowing her end was near, Mary Palmer worked on her poems – compiling her very best and writing new ones with a feverish intensity. This is the result, published here with her full cooperation and consent. These are poems from the extreme edge and very centre of life – words of light that defy death’s shadow with a startling intensity, clarity and honesty. Containing poems from across Mary’s career, selected by Jay Ramsay, Tidal Shift is an impressive legacy from a poet of soul and insight.
'Full of excellencies' Dr Rowan Williams
'Excellent work is spread across the volume, the strongest of which tends ... to be that which responds to the beauty of the physical world.' Tears in the Fence
Poetry ISBN 978-1-906900-09-0 Profits to Dorothy House Hospice £9.99
The exotic, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder..
In these stories Anthony Nanson charts the territory between travel writing and magic realism to confront the exotic and the enigmatic. Here are epiphanies of solitude, twilight and initiation. A lover’s true self unveiled by a mountain mist … a memory of the lost land in the western sea … a traveller’s surrender to the allure of ancient gods … a quest for primeval beings on the edge of extinction. In transcending the line between the written and the spoken word, between the familiar and the unfamiliar, between the actual and the imagined, these tales send sparks across the gap of desire.
'He is a masterful storyteller, and his prose is delightful to read … His sheer
technical ability makes my bones rattle with joy … He is simply one of
the most able writers I know.' Mimi Thebo
Fiction/Travel ISBN 978-0-9546137-7-8 £7.99
THE FIFTH QUARTER
The Fifth Quarter is Romney Marsh as defined by Rev. Richard Harris Barham in The Ingoldsby Legends: ‘The World, according to the best geographers is divided into Europe,Asia, Africa, America and Romney Marsh…’. It is a place apart, almost another world and this collection explores its ancient and modern landscapes, wonders at its past and reflects upon the present.
This eclectic collection of tales is funny and sad, universal and particular. Pour yourself a glass and pull up a chair...
Richard Selby has known Romney Marsh throughout his life: holidaying there as a child, living there in his youth and regularly visiting ever since. Formerly in education, he now works in the booktrade. He performs as a storyteller individually and with Fire Springs, storytellers of Bath. He lives in Bath, with his wife Judith and his two talented sons.
Fiction/poetry ISBN 978-0-9546137-9-2 £7.99