Creative Prose

Marc Atkins The Logic of the Stairwell

Published 2011. Paperback, 80pp, 8x5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611610 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

"This fascinating, intoxicating and often hallucinatory book ranks amongst the best prose poetry collections of the last half-century. Atkins is a Surrealist visionary whose prose creates a murmuring dream in every sentence, a visual universe in every paragraph. His Logic of the Stairwell takes you into a world of verbi-voco-visual intrigues that explore the mechanisms of perception and memory while blurring accepted boundaries between the narrative and the lyrical, the sensuous and the philosophical, the essential and the residual".
—Michel Delville, author of  The American Prose Poem

Picture of book cover Marc Atkins The Logic of the Stairwell
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Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (complete in one volume)

Published 2013. Paperback, 292pp, 9x6ins, £14.95 / $23
ISBN 9781848612914 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This compendium edition of all three volumes of Martin Anderson's The Hoplite Journals evokes events and places largely in South East and South Asia as well as the West, exploring allegiances and identities within the troubled context of mostly colonial and ex-colonial possessions.

Picture of book cover Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (complete in one volume)
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Martin Anderson: The Hoplite Journals (1-XXIX)

Published 2006. Paperback, 136pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9780907562818 [Download a sample from this book here.]

This prose sequence, The Hoplite Journals, the first volume of an ongoing project of the same name, is characterised by rapid temporal and spatial shifts amidst observed and imagined realities. It returns again and again, however, to meditate upon notions of identity and of memory, of time and of space.

Picture of book cover Martin Anderson: The Hoplite Journals (1-XXIX)
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Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (XXX–LIX)

Published 2010. Paperback, 114pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848611146 [Download a sample from this book here.]

After many years in the Far East, Martin Anderson returned to the UK in 2001. The first volume of The Hoplite Journals (I–XXIX) was published by Shearsman Books in 2006. This second, and penultimate volume evokes, like its predecessor, events and places largely in South East and South Asia as well as the West, and continues the earlier volume's exploration of allegiances and identities within the troubled context of mostly colonial and ex-colonial possessions.

Picture of book cover Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (XXX–LIX)
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Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (LX–LXXXIX)

Published 2013. Paperback, 112pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848612907 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

This third and final volume of Martin Anderson's The Hoplite Journals, like its predecessors, evokes events and places largely in South East and South Asia as well as the West, and continues the earlier volumes' exploration of allegiances and identities within the troubled context of mostly colonial and ex-colonial possessions.

Picture of book cover Martin Anderson The Hoplite Journals (LX–LXXXIX)
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Jennifer Clement Widow Basquiat

Published 2010. Paperback, 144pp, 8.5x5.5ins. Out of print. 
ISBN 9781848610989.
This volume was reissued by Canongate in the UK, and by Random House in the USA.

Widow Basquiat explores the love story between Jean-Michel Basquiat and Suzanne, his muse and lover. It is also a profound portrait of New York City during the early 1980s' art scene and the striking cast of characters from that time: Andy Warhol, Madonna, Keith Haring, Debbie Harry, Julian Schnabel and William Burroughs, among others.

Picture of book cover Jennifer Clement Widow Basquiat
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George Economou: Ananios of Kleitor

Published 2009. Paperback, 144pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 978184860330 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Ananios of Kleitor introduces to the revolving stage of world literature the work of an ancient Greek poet largely unknown and hitherto unread outside of a small circle of cognoscenti. The poet's extant poems and fragments, as well as the record of their reception and preservation, are presented in this one-of-a-kind book of the sort that would have appealed to Menippus of Gadara and his followers, a medley of verse and prose and a diversity of genres, ranging from the epistolary novel to scholarly annotations and an Index Nominum. Ananios and his scholars and commentators perform their work at the edge of the real world and the margins of a thoroughly historicized and critically acute context.

Picture of book cover George Economou: Ananios of Kleitor
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Ken Edwards  a book with no name

Published 2016. Paperback, 92pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848615007.  [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

It is not a book of poems.
It is not a long poem.
It is not a novel.
Nor a volume of short stories.
It is not a work of philosophy.
It is not an object – like a stone.
Yet it drops into the well of nothingness 
and is never heard of again.
 
a book with no name
fuses the optimism of Beckett with the hyperrealism of Stein.
 
Cover of Ken Edwards - a book with no name
 
Gerry Loose  An Oakwoods Almanac

Published 2015. Paperback, 132pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $18 
ISBN 9781848614352 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

With photographs by Morven Gregor.

Deliberately and quietly, Gerry Loose has spent years walking the woodlands to observe the poetry of clouds and winds; to cheer the dance of gnats and moths, to listen intently to the musical compositions of wrens and ravens.
       An Almanac of two different woodlands, one in the Scottish west Highlands and one on Finland’s Baltic coast, it celebrates those woodlands and their human lives. With shipping and fishing reports of monks and witches landed, sea eagles and night walking, the voice of the stars and weather forecasts: the beauty and profundity of oakwoods are revealed in a shifting, precise prose.
        Rooted in place through habitation and close observation; an exploration of Sunart and Saari through its languages: Gaelic, Finnish, English, birdsong and world news; heaping language onto landscape and excavating what’s been before, An Oakwoods Almanac reinvents a classic form.
Cover of Gerry Loose - An Oakwoods Almanac
 
Tom Lowenstein From Culbone Wood — In Xanadu

Published 2013. Paperback, 238pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848612297 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In the voice of an eighteenth century poet who the previous afternoon had written 'Kubla Khan', this long prose meditation takes the reader through an English pastoral landscape to the Central Asian steppe, the palaces and gardens of the Khan who ruled north China in the 13th century, and then back to rural Somerset. While Coleridge is implied, the garrulous and solipsistic persona who talks through these journals, essays and fantasias is an a-historical figure who lives largely in, and for imagination.

"A major work of the imagination. In no previous genre. Creates its own genre." —R.F. Langley

Picture of book cover Tom Lowenstein From Culbone Wood — In Xanadu
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John Matthias  Different Kinds of Music. A Novel
Published 2014. Paperback, 188pp, 9x6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848613706 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]
 
Different Kinds of Music follows Timothy “Westy” Westmont through six episodes from his childhood and youth, through his experiences as an archivist and a thief, to encounters with William Faulkner’s bear in St. Louis, Hemingway’s lingering ghost at Walloon Lake in Michigan, and Phillip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus in Columbus, Ohio itself. The narrative is sometimes funny, sometimes sad; and it progresses in an order more interesting than the merely chronological. Between the episodes appears a sequence of interchapters about music, the different kinds of which define Westmont’s experience from the 1940s to the turn of the 21st century in an idiom different from that of the narrative parts of the book. Different, too, is the final long chapter, “Westmont as Talbot Eastmore,” in which the author of the previous five episodes tells his own story in terms of a miniature bildungsroman which is also an elegy for an old friend.
Cover of John Matthias - Different Kinds of Music
 
David Miller: The Waters of Marah. Selected Prose 1973-1995

Published 2005. Paperback, 113pp, 8.5x 5.5ins. £8.95. 
Not for sale in North America.
ISBN 9780907562665

The Waters of Marah brings together the best of David Miller's non-poetic output. The prose here however does include work that would be classified as prose-poetry in most quarters, as well as the longer work Tesserae which could be better described as experimental fiction. These pieces tend also to have verse interludes, which further confuses the definition of what category they actually belong to. In the end however, categories are irrelevant, and the work can be read on its own terms, be it prose, be it prose-poetry, be it fiction, be it poetry. This is musical work that explores the parameters of the sayable in a manner that does not repel the reader but rather draws him/her in as a participant in a remarkable enterprise.

Picture of book cover David Miller: The Waters of Marah. Selected Prose 1973-1995
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John Muckle London Brakes— a novel

Published 2010. Paperback, 296pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848611016 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Tony Guest is welcome wherever he goes—a motorcycle courier on a big bike, picking up and dropping all manner of urgent parcels, letters, and duly getting his dockets signed. In July he rides in a sweat bath, in February the rain is freezing needles, the roads of the West End are greasy with spilt diesel, glistening tracks of motorcyclists weaving through them like slug trails. But where is Tony going? What is contained in his ultimate mystery packet? What becomes of lost friendships? He chases his shadow-man through an illusory maze of skid pans, trick exits—the answer to every question he can frame seems to lie behind every locked door in London town. Set in the 1980s, London Brakes shows us an England of conflicting loyalties and low impostures—a city divided by inequality and opportunism: a place where forgetting is compulsory and paranoia is the outcome. Tony is determined to cut through it all to the truths of his life.

Picture of book cover John Muckle London Brakes— a novel
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John Muckle My Pale Tulip — A Novel

Published 2012. Paperback, 228pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £12.95 / $20.
ISBN 9781848612167 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

There wasn't much to do in the battered, half-forgotten seaside resort of Jaywick Sands, Essex—nothing really, except to listen to the North Sea pound against the sea-defences and wait for the next run-down holiday shack to go up like a barbeque torch. Lee and Will were an odd pair, deeply eccentric kids, living alone with their mothers and struggling through resit classes in college. But all that was to change on the day they kidnapped Charley Price in an old motor they'd just stolen, and made a heroic run with her for the ferry to the far land where the tulips grow. 
     My Pale Tulip takes a scenic route across low countries to the beautiful cities of Delft and Utrecht—where darkness lies in ambush. It is a classic tale of flight and crash-landing: poignant, sharp-witted, with a voice all its own.

Picture of book cover John Muckle My Pale Tulip — A Novel
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John Muckle   Falling Through — a novel

Published February 2017. Paperback, 232pp, 8.5 x 5.5ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781848615359 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Graham Bartlett is a private English tutor. He lives in North London and travels to meet numerous teenage clients. He is a lonely person, unable to find steady work, but does his best to survive and deliver sound lessons to a large number of youngsters, diving in and out of their homes with a battered satchel on his shoulder, glimpsing their families and backgrounds. Browsing the internet he discovers an unpleasant murder has occurred in the quiet suburban avenue where he grew up. The horrific discovery of a woman’s callously disposed-of body half-interests him whilst seeming to have little to do with his own life, apart from accidents of place and memory. Intertwined with his peripatetic journeys across a cityscape marked by recent riots are the stories of people he has known, or imagines, or has actual dealings with in the present. 
      Falling Through is a novel of encounters and evasions: north of the Thames, south of hell.
Cover of John Muckle - Falling Through
 
Toby Olson  The Other Woman — A Brief Memoir

Published 2015. Paperback, 78pp, 8 x 5ins, £8.95 / $16
ISBN 9781848614277 [Download a PDF of the introduction to this book here.]

In 2014, Toby Olson's wife Miriam died at the age 80, and after nearly 50 years of marriage. She has suffered from Alzheimer's for some years before her death and Toby became her principal carer. This is a memoir of that period, a story of love and frustration, remembering and forgetting. Miriam is also The Other Woman of the title – a woman other than the one she once was. 

"With each seemingly tiny insignificant detail (his wife’s chant “little little little little little little”) Olson lets us in to the unfathomable reverberations of his feeling, and I will not soon forget the constellations he has unfolded." — Meredith Quartermain

 
Cover of Toby Olson - The Other Woman
 
Christian Peet: Big American Trip

Published 2009. Paperback, 80p, 9x6ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848610156 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Assuming the form of postcards authored by an "alien" of unknown nationality, ethnicity, and gender, addressing a variety of people and organizations (political figures, multinational corporations, people in public toilets, et al), Big American Trip is a startling document of fear and loneliness in the 21st century U.S. Whether deconstructing road signs, a failed relationship, or the state of contemporary poetry, the voice behind these texts is at once familiar and strange, determined to be free, and desperate to communicate with anyone who has ever felt at odds with the Language of a Nation.

Picture of book cover Christian Peet: Big American Trip
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Peter Redgrove: In the Country of the Skin

Introduced by Pascale Petit.
Published 2006. Paperback, 149pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024087.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

This novel is a true story. There are two men in one man, held together by their mutual skin. Their embattled state is healed by the one energy called magick, love, sex, perversion, justice, cruelty, god, poetry, atomic hydrogen, celestial holography, and by the lady who leaves him with a picture of herself that the author must keep in good repair. His orders are that, apart from herself, the only thing constant is change, and he testifies that 'my pen, albeit it stinks of ignorance, faithfully speaks of deeds, some of which I have heard of, but most of which I have seen with my own eyes, and felt with my own skin.'

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove: In the Country of the Skin
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Peter Redgrove & Penelope Shuttle: The Terrors of Dr Treviles

Introduced by Brian Louis Pearce.
Published 2006. Paperback, 170pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024096.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

The Terrors of Dr Treviles is the story of a vocation and a quest. The hero, Gregory Treviles, is a doctor whose healing gift is a terrifying and vivid imagination. His quest is to explore wherever his images lead and to discover in so doing the real use of these bizarre energies; the question he asks himself is "And whom does this Grail serve?" His quest becomes entwined with the lives of his brilliant red-headed stepdaughter Robyn, a molecular biologist who is also a witch; of another doctor, Brid Hare, who hides a secret she believes is shameful; and the deathly life of Trevile's deceased wife, Mamie. The energy liberated by Trevile's imagination changes all these lives, and involves a foolish saintly clergyman, Alex Bodkin, and many other creatures, such as blood-magic, slapstick comedy, Laurel and Hardy, Satan, and the University of Cornwall.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove & Penelope Shuttle: The Terrors of Dr Treviles
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Peter Redgrove & Penelope Shuttle: The Glass Cottage

Introduced by Penelope Shuttle.
Published 2006. Paperback, 141pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024100.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

The Glass Cottage is an unusual mystery story that takes the reader into strange byways of emotion, and introduces them to many odd and memorable characters: the mad professor, the widow who talks with Goddess, the perverted ship's doctor, the poet interested in menstruation, the actor, the lover, the immensely freckled psychologist, the ship's spirit, the murdered girl and, not least, the great liner itself, the S.S. Messenger.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove & Penelope Shuttle: The Glass Cottage
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Peter Redgrove: The God of Glass

Introduced by Jay Ramsay.
Published 2006. Paperback, 123pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024117.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

Peter Redgrove wrote this story of horror and the occult in the belief that in going all out for a total experience — in going rather further than such stories normally do — he would draw attention to the real themes that are merely undercurrents in most modern stories of the supernatural. There is a strong factual basis for this remarkable fiction that makes it in no way less entertaining, but considerably more horrifying.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove: The God of Glass
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Peter Redgrove: The Sleep of the Great Hypnotist

Introduced by Cliff Ashcroft.
Published 2006. Paperback, 129pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024124.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

In this novel Peter Redgrove explores the fascinating world of the strange powers of the mind revealed by hypnosis. He examines the dilemmas of both hypnotiser and hypnotised, as it might be any parent and any child, and takes some side-swipes at television's power over us all. With his customary mixture of bizarre invention, profound feeling and sexual gusto, he shows how even such an awesome Father can be conquered.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove: The Sleep of the Great Hypnotist
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Peter Redgrove: The Beekeepers

Introduced by Peter Ackroyd.
Published 2006. Paperback, 129pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024131.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

The Beekeepers is an investigation of the magic and meaning of imagination. In it Peter Redgrove explores those forces which many consider to be 'occult' but which he believes to be natural forces concealed from our use by convention and timidity.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove: The Beekeepers
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Peter Redgrove: The Facilitators

Introduced by Norman Jope.
Published 2006. Paperback, 132pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £10 / $20.  ISBN 9781905024148.
Published by Stride, distributed worldwide by Shearsman Books.

In this daring and ebullient novel, Peter Redgrove tells the story of the mysterious Institute of Facilitation, which is haunted by the elusive Director, Jacqueline Dimitrios, MD, who may be the richest woman in the world. She may also be dead, murdered, as her staff often pose as Madame Dimitros, and are instructed to deny they are not Madame. Undaunted by her mystery, three suitors enter the Institute on the pretence that they are patients, and require to be 'facilitated' until they are well again: they are in fact intent on marrying Madame's money. They are told that they must find in themselves a madness so strange that it will make Madame laugh aloud; then and only then will she marry the fortunate suitor.

Picture of book cover Peter Redgrove: The Facilitators
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Peter Riley: The Dance at Mociu  (2nd Expanded Edition)

Published 2014. Paperback, 144pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $18.
ISBN 9781848613867 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

The Dance at Mociu brings together some thirty 'stories' of Transylvania, a part of the world that has fascinated the author for many years, and which he and his wife have visited annually since 1998. These pieces are not stories in the conventional sense, but range from meditation to epiphany, from observation to recordings of an old world that seems threatened — the world of 'Old Europe', that Central Europe whose borders were flexible in the extreme, whose populations found themselves changing nationalities with alarming frequency in the 20th century, and whose cultures survived all the vicissitudes of war and rampant nationalisms only to face an uncertain future in the post-communist present. Expanded version of the 2003 edition, in a larger format.

Picture of book cover - Peter Riley: The Dance at Mociu
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Peter Robinson: Spirits of the Stair — Selected Aphorisms

Published 2009. Paperback, 148pp, 9x6ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848610620 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

When Peter Robinson published Untitled Deeds in 2004, a number of his readers expressed surprise that the writer who, as early as 1983, had been described as 'the finest poet of his generation' in PN Review and, two decades later in The Reader, 'the finest poet alive', should suddenly emerge from his exile in Japan as an aphorist. What had happened? While the Western world was declaring war on an abstraction, Robinson had been drawing up peace terms with a host of them. Finding weapons of mass destruction in the speechifying of politicians, and the toxicity of pension plan promises, feeling chilled by global warming, and hot under the collar, the poet found no other respite than to reach for his notebooks. What came from them were wrung-out dishcloths and acupuncturists' needles, sound bites that chew on what they eschew, salves for old saws, and less-is-more morsels which were promptly anthologized in The Boodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations (2006) and Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists (2007). Now, five years further, in this volume Robinson's enlarged and extended reflections look out on the world and see a wounded head bandaged in clouds. These words that didn't come to mind when occasion demanded, words that were the right thing to say when the moment had passed, now reach us with a timely lateness that appears, for all that, to be just what we were waiting for.

Picture of book cover Peter Robinson: Spirits of the Stair — Selected Aphorisms
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Gillian Rose  Paradiso

Published 2015. Paperback, 72pp, 8x5ins, £8.95 / $16 
ISBN9781848614345 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Shortly before her death, philosopher Gillian Rose began work on a new book—her Paradiso—thus fulfilling her promise at the end of Love’s Work to ‘stay in the fray, in the revel of ideas and risk’. Confident even only a week before her death that she could complete the work, all that remains are these fragments. In them, Rose combines the detached insight of one who is taking leave, or who has almost left, with a desire to participate in the joys of life until the last. Exceeding the injunction to ‘keep your mind in hell and despair not’, Paradiso sketches a movement through the hell and despair of terminal illness to an affirmation of the joys of companionship and memory. Paradiso contains some of Rose’s most serene and affirmatory writing, and in that light completes one of the most remarkable philosophical oeuvres of the late twentieth century.

Cover of Gillian Rose - Paradiso
 
Luís Amorim de Sousa  In Spite of All — A Memoir of Alberto de Lacerda

Published 2015. Paperback, 114pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £9.95 / $17
ISBN 9781848613638 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

In Spite of All is a memoir by a Portuguese poet, of another Portuguese poet: Alberto de Lacerda, an almost legendary figure in expatriate circles. Lacerda lived for many years in London, with sojourns also in Boston and in Austin, Texas, when lectureships took him away, but he always returned to his adopted city. A fine poet, Lacerda also had a talent for friendship, which is amply borne out by Luis Amorim de Sousa's touching memoir of his friend.

Cover of :is Amorim de Sousa - In Spite of All
 
Eileen Tabios Silk Egg — Collected Novels

Published 2011. Paperback, 98pp, 8.5x5.5ins, £8.95 / $15
ISBN 9781848611436 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Last century, I temporarily borrowed Jorge Luis Borges' chatelaine. I slipped off a certain key and made a copy before I returned it to its chains and the old man (OMG: can he ever snore!). Since then, I've been able to slip into Jorge's Library of Babel whenever I wished—that permanent stain on the 7th floor's limestone windowsill was from the d'Yquem I'd carelessly spilled from my treasured wine glass (stolen previously from Vermeer). About a year after I wrote all of the novels that comprise Silk Egg, I returned to the Library of Babel's 7th floor with a bottle of Ajax cleanser ("stronger than dirt!") that I'd hoped would work this time in erasing proof of my unpermitted visitations: that hardened pool of "nectar of the gods" ever winking out a small sun from the bibliophilic dimness. (Eileen Tabios)

Picture of book cover Eileen Tabios Silk Egg — Collected Novels
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John Welch  Dreaming Arrival

Published 2008. Paperback, 236pp, 9 x 6ins, £12.95 / $20
ISBN 9781905700561 [Download a sample PDF from this book here.]

Circumventing conventional narratives of trauma and recovery, Dreaming Arrival presents a series of very personal reflections on the writing life set in the context of John Welch's experience of psychoanalysis. Intensely felt, but always retaining a significant degree of scepticism, the book's starting-point was in a journal the writer kept when in analysis and it refers back to an experience of breakdown and hospitalisation thirty years previously. Calling easy notions of creativity into question Dreaming Arrival looks not only at the way 'therapy' affects writing, but also at how the writing may affect the process of the therapy itself.
Cover of John Welch - Dreaming Arrival