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Alyson's latest pamphlet, Toots, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award and Callum MacDonald Memorial Award. Jackie Kay said: 'As fresh as anything, the voice just jumps straight out at you'.
Poetry, breathing, fiction, dancing, stones, art and collaborative practice are at the heart of Alyson's work.
She lives in Somerset, plays piano and swims whenever she can: www.thestonelibrary.com
Cover artwork ‘Vision in Time III’ by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
Author photo of Alyson Hallett by Sean Malyon
Author photo of Penelope Shuttle by Jemimah Kuhfeld
156 x 234mm
£9.99 + P&P UK
Poems from the Lizard Peninsula
In this collection of poems drawn from the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, land is not just alive and singing, it's full of mischief and mystery and power.
Beaches, serpentine stone, cliffs, chips: the Lizard is a prayer book with the pages in a deliberate wrong order. The Lizard is a church made of celtic air.
Everything is tinged with salt and freshened with a breeze that's fast and furious off the sea. St. Keverne, Cury, Ruan Minor - wherever LZRD goes, it invites you to the party.
This book opens its doors and says come in, come with us as we travel across this magical land.
Penelope Shuttle lives in Cornwall. Her most recent collection is Will You Walk A Little Faster? (Bloodaxe Books) of which Kayo Chingonyi wrote:
‘…This fluid lineation is a hallmark of this book and contributes to an overall feeling that Shuttle is in perfect control of her material…’(Poetry Review).
This book is dedicated to the memory of Peter Redgrove
you coil around my heart
you squeezer of vowels from words
you crazy misfit Cornish wonder
you wizard you witch
we can't resist
gives me a snowdrop posy
a chunk of storm
a church built on sand
gives me the past
in the shape
of a village with five names
On Shrove Tuesday
he leaves me
(to my own surprise) well-shriven
hands me a prayer book
its pages in deliberate wrong order
offers me hail
a gargoyle’s grin
and a nudge in the ribs
Saint Corantyn gives me Antioch
all of the kit
and most of the caboodle
my ship coming in
my gold turned back to straws
blowing along the poverty road
He gives me white-hot truth
hidden in a stone-cold lie
Quimper Cathedral on the palm of his hand
He bails out my grave
He guides me
through the stone doorway
with its chevron
and pellet enrichments
to the nook shafts and the jambs
He writes me into his journal of dowsing
takes me fathoms deep
to old forests of oak, willow and hazel
gives me his freshwater blessing
sends me on my way
how can I be satisfied
with a serpentine pebble
on a table on a balcony in Somerset
when Kynance Grade Manaccan
rival every other place light plops down on?
Thirteen Practical Reasons for Visiting The Lizard
To check-out every mischief-saint of the peninsula
To dowse your doubt
To raise your spirits one by one
To discourse with the summer Hassidim
To hoot the owl to comprehend the pilchard
To hear laughter from the well-house
To pause on the road, listening for it again
To clean-slate your life
To call the life-boat your friend
To trust the wheat field to take you in the right direction
To remember your dead
To hold court with the living
St Ruan Minor
In a tiny village
sits a tiny church,
its tiny tower covered
in reddening ivy.
A tiny lichen city sprawls
along the branches
of a tree, crab apples
shiny as newly-lit
street lamps. Tiny steps
take us almost
nowhere as we stop
to listen to the slow
hush hush of a broom
brushing a brick-stoned
yard. The sound shakes us
down, readies us for
the church of St Ruan:
porch so low we touch
its roof with our tiny
hands before stepping
into its glove of wood
and stone and kneelers.
Admiral Font sang up his dolphins four
the dolphins dear to his heart
He heaved them up by their wooden tails
o those swimmers he knew so well
Zig me your zags and zag me your zigs
sang Admiral Font to his dolphins
Shiver m’timbers my holy-water lovelies
Font full of sea seadog full of brandy
That’s what I saw above Kynance
White sail of a sermon anchor of a prayer
That’s what I saw with the jolly old Admiral
Font full of brandy prayer full of dolphins
That’s what I saw above Kynance
After porridge get in your car
and drive to St Keverne.
Park in the church-shadowed square,
walk down past sun-spattered
fields to a stream.
See how light stretches
its thin blue tongue
over stones and water.
stride into the sky
and soil sinks around
the tunnels of worms.
Who knows what happens
to you when you walk
here – you return home
changed and unchanged,
something soft, like the cough
of an angel, lodged
between your ribs.