Joined at the feet we are shapes of each other cut from the other’s cloth, holding each other’s forbidden orbit. You spin about me as the world circles the sun. Dance alongside me darkly, I am your puppeteer. You: a piece of my sky, stolen And I: your vessel-self, freely-given. Able to contain stories, light, darkness, and walk through doors.
Rima Staines, more often known for making poetry with image than word, has made a collection of riddle-poems whose words offer praises to nine things: everyday objects, events, places, phenomena and beings. By treating them as holy and unnameable, her riddles offer up exaltations in a sideways fashion, casting new light on the familiar, and making the usual numinous and alive. In this way, minute moments of reality can be taken apart and beheld from within in an entirely unsettling manner.
Accompanying these nine praise riddles are nine of Rima’s ink and scraperboard drawings, which illustrate the be-praised things from another perspective again: not literal, but a kind of enchanted abstraction, or magical realism, approaching askance from yet another direction. Together they create a work in the artistic-mythic-bardic tradition of boundary-questioning and riddle-contests, which seeks to cut a key or uncover a spell to open a Door in the Stone.
RIMA STAINES' artwork needs no introduction here. If you aren't familiar with it, peruse all her prints at your leisure, but NINE PRAISE RIDDLES marks the first time Rima's beautiful words have been published by Hedgespoken Press. Each of the nine praise-poems here is a riddle for you to untangle, with the help of Rima's stunning ink and scratchboard illustrations, beautifully reproduced as litho-prints in this exquisite and eminently-collectable book.
There are answers to the riddles, which are the titles of the nine pieces, at the back of the book.
NINE PRAISE RIDDLES 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.
NINE PRAISE RIDDLES 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; poetry; prayer
Rima Staines (photograph by Juliette Mills)
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.