The Book of Ystwyth

The Book of Ystwyth


Six Poets on the Art of Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Artwork by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

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Stories of saints and animals, dark worlds of folk tradition, inanimate objects as actors on a stage, otherworldly landscapes--all these tumble from the drawings and paintings of Clive Hicks-Jenkins, who has been described by Simon Callow as 'one of the most individual and complete artists of our time.' Over the past dozen years, many writers have been prompted to give word to the unspoken narratives in Hicks-Jenkins' images. The Book of Ystwyth offers twenty-seven poems, many published here for the first time, placed alongside images that inspired them or reflect them. They are by six insightful writers: Three American, and three British; three women and three men. Experiencing these images and poems together will take readers on imaginative journeys of their own, reflecting on the rich themes running through the pairings. Originally published by Gray Mare Press in Aberystwyth, Wales, and in association with the National Library of Wales, the book is distributed in the USA by Carolina Wren Press.

DAVE BONTA lives in Plummer's Hollow, Pennsylvania and is a founder and managing editor of the online literary magazine qarrtsiluni. His first collection of poetry, Odes to Tools, was brought out by Phoenicia Publishing in 2010. Bonta s poems in response to Clive's Temptations of Solitude series originally appeared on my blog, Via Negativa. CALLUM JAMES lives in the coastal city of Portstmouth, England. He is a bookseller, blogger, treasure hunter, poet and freelance journalist and has a particular interest in gay history and literature and their interaction with the sacred. ANDREA SELCH's poems have appeared in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Calyx, The Asheville Poetry Review and Luna. In addition to her full-length collection Startling (2004), she is the author of two chapbooks: Succory (2000) and Boy Returning Water to the Sea: Koans for Kelly Fearing (2009). She has been the director of Carolina Wren Press since 2002. CATRIONA URQUHART (1953-2005) produced two books, both illustrated by Clive Hicks-Jenkins - a short story, Palmyra Jones, and a sequence of poems, The Mare's Tale, conceived to accompany the exhibition of large-scale drawings by the Clive Hicks-Jenkins. The Mare's Tale was published in 2001 with new images commissioned specially by the Old Stile Press. In it the poet celebrates the life and marks the death of Trevor Jenkins, who was both her friend and the artist's father. A third collaboration with Clive Hicks-Jenkins was to have been Urquhart's new translation of the libretto for Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale but the project was unfinished when she died at age 52. DAMIAN WALFORD DAVIES was born in Aberystwyth, Wales, in 1971 and since 1997 has taught Romantic and Victorian literature and the two literatures of Wales at the Department of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. His first solo collection, Suit of Lights, was published by Seren in 2009; Alabaster Girls will appear from the same publisher in 2012. MARLY YOUMANS is the author of six novels (including The Wolf Pit from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, winner of the 2001 Michael Shaara Award) and two collections of poetry, including brand-new The Throne of Psyche from Mercer University Press. Forthcoming poetry books are The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press) and Thaliad, a post-apocalyptic epic poem in blank verse (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, late 2011.) She also has three novels due out in the near future: Glimmerglass and Maze of Blood from P. S. Publishing in England and A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage, winner of the first annual Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction (Mercer University Press, 2011.