Publishing

The Everyday Unspeakable

As part of our summer publishing schedule, Maytree 38 will be available from the 15 July 2022.

The Everyday Unspeakable by Tom Clucas is a personal record of non-belonging and of struggling to find a home in, what the author describes as, this “beautiful bastard of a world”.

Spanning a variety of contemporary forms and voices, the poems grapple (as the title implies) with the unspeakable aspects of everyday life. Stretching the boundaries of language, the pieces in this collection seek to voice marginalised experiences and create new bonds of commonality through their searching exploration of illness, poverty, overwork, displacement, conflict, and death. Yet they also remind the reader—through their heightened rhythms, images, and cadences—of the wonder and startling brevity of human life, building through the fleeting visions of a series of outcast speakers to their own unexpected image of utopia.

The Everyday Unspeakable will be available from the 15 July 2022.

About the Author:

Tom Clucas writes about belonging and the lack of belonging from the outside perspective of an LGBT+ poet with an autism spectrum condition. Having won the Lawrence Sail poetry prize at a young age, he went on to complete his DPhil at Oxford, supervised by the poet Lucy Newlyn. While there, he published poems and articles in numerous journals and won further competitions, including the Lord Alfred Douglas and Poem on a Sacred Subject prizes, judged by Simon Armitage, Bernard O’Donoghue and Michael Schmidt. Tom then moved to be with his civil partner in Germany, where he worked as a Deputy Professor, continued to publish both poems and articles and was shortlisted for the Melita Hume prize by Mark Ford. Following their struggles to find citizenship and a home after Brexit, he and his partner retrained as lawyers and moved to London, where he realised a longstanding fascination with the City and now advises on billion-dollar fundraisings. In the small hours, he continues to hone his writing, with craft and challenge being the watchwords of his poetry.

Don’t forget – we are currently celebrating the launch of our new on-line shop with a half-price sale – all items have been discounted – take a look Products – Maytree Press

art, Publishing

Maytree 37 – cover reveal

We’re are very excited to reveal our cover for Maytree 37 as, what turns out to be a first for our press, we have been able to combine the author’s own artwork within the design.

The Storm in the Piano by Christopher James features poems inspired by history and music; peacocks and swimming pools, and are peopled by the famous, the tragic and obscure. From Charles Blondin teetering on a high wire strung around the Earth, to Buddy Holly being blasted from a basement in Damascus, they cross borders of space and time. Whether it’s Picasso wing walking on a French biplane, or the Warden of Pluto patiently waiting to be relieved, the poems all explore our potential and what it means to lead a good life. 

Christopher James is a first prize winner of the National Poetry Competition (2008) the Ledbury, Oxford Brooks and Bridport prizes. He is also a recipient of an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. He has published several collections, including Farewell to the Earth (Arc, 2011), and The Fool (Templar, 2014). He has also published three Sherlock Holmes novels, including The Adventure of the Ruby Elephants (MX, 2015). He lives in Suffolk with his family, folding bicycle and ukulele.

The cover features Christopher’s cut-up, The house of poet Stephen Spender at 15 Loudoun Road, St. John’s Wood, London.

Christopher describes the inspiration for his artwork as follows:

In 2020, inspired in equal part by Matisse and Peter Blake, I started creating paper cut-up collages – first of still life (especially instruments and fruit) then architecture and landscapes. I typically work to A3 size, but have gone as large as a metre square, and as small as A4. I cut up the pieces, as if assembling my own jigsaw. Once I’ve got everything in the right place, I take a photo to make a note of the positioning. Only then do I start the painstaking process of sticking things down. Pritt Stick is my glue of choice, as it gives you about five seconds’ grace, when you can reposition things if they’re not quite right. One of my biggest projects has been a sequence of 20 ‘houses of the poets.’ I started with Dove Cottage, home of Dorothy and William Wordsworth and the logical next move was Coleridge’s rather grander residence at Greta Hall. Keats’ House in Hampstead followed, as did John Betjeman’s flat in Cloth Fair, London, and the Bronte parsonage.  At the same time, I reread their poetry. The process is totally immersive and takes you very close to the spirit of the poet and their work. Working for half an hour on a window Sylvia Plath might have leant out of, takes you uniquely close. I enjoy exploring different styles of architecture; the effect of different lights and times of day — from Pablo Neruda’s surrealist self-designed house in Chile to Edward Thomas’ very ordinary cottage in Surrey. I find my artwork the perfect companion (and antidote) to writing poetry. As someone once said: ‘you can’t write poems all the time.’ 

And here’s a link to Christopher’s online gallery: Houses of the poets – The Friday Poem

The Storm in the Piano will be officially released on the 17 June 2022 and we can’t wait!

Don’t forget that it’s not too late for a chance to see your work published as a special Three Trees Edition later this year – you have until midnight on the 30 April 2022 to enter our Portfolio Award. Enter here Three Trees Portfolio Award | Maytree Press (bigcartel.com)

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New on-line store now open

Our sparkly new on-line store is now fully stocked and open for business.

You can find the link on the menu bar or enter here

We thought it would be a good idea to put things all under one roof, so to speak. Let us know what you think. We’ll be adding some further improvements as we go and featuring individual publications from our impressive catalogue – did we mention that there’s two award winning pamphlets already in our collection.

Our Big Cartel store will remain open for the next few weeks.

Best wishes

Team Maytree.

art, Publishing, Theology

Maytree 36 – Magdalena

For those who read our last post will have already had a sneak preview of the cover for Maytree 36 which features the photograph, Sunlit Tree by our very own, Roy Marshall. If you follow Roy on social media (and why wouldn’t you) you’ll know that as well as being a wonderful writer, poet, translator and editor, he’s also got a good eye for a great photograph.

Magdalena by Antony Christie started out about eight years ago as a reconstructed autobiography in verse of Mary Magdalene, based in part on the confusion of Maries in the New Testament, in part on the Apocryphal Gospels, and reinvigorated by a journey through the South of France that included sites associated with her.

The present text is an expansion of the original poems. The collection now includes
characters like the necromancer, who profits from superstitions and myths surrounding Mary who is herself, after death, still bound to her earthly existence, imprisoned in her own skull in the rituals that are associated with the annual procession it takes through the streets of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. The mention of a potent charm given to her by an admirer perhaps complicates the picture, as does her desire to find her own God reincarnated, which draws her, in the mid 20th century to Manubehn, the niece of Mahatma Ghandi.

So Mary is a character with whose humanity the reader can empathize, but also a mystic who takes out of body journeys, a devotee of her living God, an object of worship herself, a disembodied spirit, and through all her multi-faceted existence retains this humanity at her core.

Magdalena will be available from the 20 May 2022. Look out for news of launch events coming very soon.

About the author:

Antony divides his time between a farmhouse in the South Tyne Valley and a renovated one room school in Grey County in Ontario. His poetry has been published in magazines in England, Ireland and Canada, including Fiddlehead, Prairie Fire, Smiths Knoll, Other Poetry and Poetry Ireland Review, in anthologies, three pamphlets and two full length collections. He has read his work in co-ops, bookstores, village halls, libraries, a farmers’ market, and at local and international festivals, including StAnza and the last Hollingwood Wordstock. His latest pamphlet, The Archaeologist’s Daughter, was published by Wayleave in April 2019.