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’, a sequence set in Snowdonia, begins this 24-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’ is an evocation of Pilgrim Britain. ‘Culbone’ records the hidden history of the smallest parish church in England in a steep North Somerset valley near where Coleridge wrote ‘Kubla Khan’. The final sequences, ‘The Mountain’ and ‘Sinai’, take us beyond, in all senses, touching the places where we find I and Self.
Places of Truth: journeys into sacred wilderness
‘This pilgrim is a mystic and this pilgrim is a shaman ... a campaigning poet ... a man who can handle landscape, nature and human beings. If his canvas is vast it is precisely because he is in awe of Nature and humankind.’
Richard McKane, Resurgence
‘Here is a poet who dares the big picture, writing unequivocally from the soul to the soul.’
Alan Rycroft, Caduceus
‘Ramsay speaks of the sacred and enduring in a world lost in the secular and transient; of passion in a world that denies feeling, and of the currents of joy that offer a constantly renewed faith in the power of love as an agent of change.’
Roselle Angwin, Kindred Spirit
'Beautiful, resonant, real and layered.’
Peter Owen Jones
'Ramsay's work can seem out of place, precisely because it is closer to the mainstream of poetic practice over the centuries.
Norman Jope, Tears in the Fence