“She’s not a Branwen or Angharad, she’s not a long rooted, long versed story of lake or hill, she is a mover and a waker and a shaker, a loose-hipped Zanzibar priestess of the blown fuse of the sacred everything, a prophetic wanderer, even if her migrations take centuries to complete. She is a great clatter-bash of gnostic lightning. Wherever she is, she can remember a place before that. She has charisma in every setting.
“And now, due to a fascination with street lights, she is walking the lanes. They are a disappointment. She sleeps in a bus shelter.
“In the morning her mind is full of fur and light.”
When the gods have love affairs, they unfold over many centuries. A wandering deity - by turns a women, a salmon, and something else entirely that it is difficult to talk about - decides to revive her affections for the ancient Celtic god of the sea, Mannanan Mac Lir, and heads for the shoreline.
But on a Welsh beach, she encounters something else: tourists. And none of them think in myth anymore. They utter static and call it language. Unimpressed, she tells an Inuit tale to refresh their minds, to loosen their imaginations.
All the time, she is also sending the story as courtship to Mannanan, a story that contains a secret: could it be that this story within a story is actually the tale of their love affair?
Martin Shaw is a teacher of ancient myths and their relationship to the times we’re in. Author of the award winning Mythteller trilogy (A Branch From The Lightning Tree; Snowy Tower; Scatterlings), he lived in a black tent for four years, listening to what remains of the English wilderness.
THE FIVE FATHOMS is part of the Seven Doors in an Unyielding Stone series (see below for all the titles in the series) for Autumn 2018. The series is also available as a limited edition collectors' boxed set and a book-lovers' bundle of all seven books.
Note - where there is white on these cover previews, there will actually be SILVER ink.
THE FIVE FATHOMS is lithograph-printed for high quality on 100% recycled paper (140gsm internal, 280gsm cover) using veg-based inks in England, by Calverts, a workers' co-op and is professionally perfectbound.
The book is A6 size (4.2″x5.9″) and has 36 inner pages. This is the first printing. Publication date 31.10.18
Fiction; short story; poetry
SEVEN DOORS IN AN UNYIELDING STONE
This series of pocket-sized books is new for Autumn 2018 and is an audacious step forward for Hedgespoken Press. Seven extraordinary authors, seven beautiful books. Seven ways to approach the unapproachable and speak about the unspeakable. See the SEVEN DOORS homepage for more information about the series.
I am so excited to read this new book! The artistry of the cover is a strong hint of the magic that is in store ! Thank you Hedgespoken !
This is gnostic poetry with a ribald gritty feel to it. It is the Wasteland taken for a peat bog swim and flushed under a forest water fall for several years. It is earthy and deep, tragic and light. It sets off rumbles in the chest and deeply questions the directions in which our eyes and hearts are set. I love it for its poetry, its impenetrability and how when I read it I'm not just absorbing, I am being called.
Happy to support independent publishing. The book looks really nice, very aesthetically pleasing, it is a treat to carry it with me. Martin Shaw's story is heart-warming and the fact that the book comes in smaller size allows me to always have it with me and read it from time to time wherever I am. Thank you Hedgespoken!
One mustn’t be deceived by the size of this little silvery blue volume.
Martin Shaw delivers sparks, rumbles, and earth shifting wordcraft,
in his latest collection of delicate excavations from luminal space.
A must-have, must-share kinda book!
Received my copy direct from the UK to Mt Hood Oregon USA very quickly. I just recently learned of Martin and Hedgespoken burrowing down an Instagram rabbit hole. I am very glad I did. I am a mythology fan. I was hoping Martin's work would satisfy my mythological yearnings. It did. Martins style captures the essence of the ancient myth with a bit of a modern twist. Recommended.