art, poetry

Shul – cover reveal

We are delighted to share the cover for F R Kesby’s forthcoming Maytree publication, Shul.

Shul will be released on the 23 April 2021. The word Shul is both a Yiddish word meaning synagogue (derived from the German for ‘school’) and a Buddhist concept of emptiness left behind when something has moved on; hollows left after houses have been removed, footprints on paths, the wearing of rocks by a river. In Buddhism this emptiness is sought out, the relief of the space left when one stops worrying about the emotional marks you have left.

In this collection of poems F R Kesby has sought to explore those marks they have left on their own world and the relationship between their memories of physical and emotional spaces. From comparing the memories of their home town compared to what it looks like now to viewing their relationship through one small bed to exploring places heard about every day in the news, each poem links place and soul in a way that respects the history of the word Shul, both Buddhist and Jewish, while being intensely personal.

The cover was inspired by a photograph taken by the author of a heart etched onto the road. Local sculptor, George Coldwell who specialises in working with concrete and found objects, was commissioned to create an image based on the photograph. We think you’ll agree that it’s an amazing piece of art that wonderfully captures the essence of the book.

F. R. Kesby is a poet and storyteller from Leeds.  They have creative writing credits including Strix, Writers Café, Riggwelter, Runcible Spoon, Spilling Cocoa Over Martin Amis, 100Thousand Poets For Change, The Pangolin Review, Wanton Fuckery, Leeds Disabled Peoples Organisation and Leeds Savage Club as well as non-fiction credits with Women’s Republic, Walking in a Wireless Wonderland and View From a Walking Frame.  They have also had a radio play featured in Chapel FM’s Writing on Air Festival, have done numerous guest spots and headlined for Stirred, Word Club, NeurodiVERSE and Verse Matters as well as winning the Stirred Invisible Disabilities Poetry Slam 2018 and the Leeds Lit Fest Flash Fiction Slam 2018 as well as running their own events independently and as part of Leeds Lit Fest and Leeds LGBT+ Virtual Lit Fest.  They and their partner also started their own inclusive arts organisation, AirEvents, through which they help run performance nights and art classes and are currently working on a range of children’s books about gender and sexuality.  They are also a life long learner with an interest in linguistics, especially its relationship to culture and politics, they are currently rounding up the worlds slowest degree and are already planning what modules to take on to their masters.  When not wrestling with language they work in the charity sector and are a proud bunny parents to Sherlock Fluffs.

Don’t forget – the Three Trees Portfolio Award is now open for entries for short poetry collections. Your chance to be part of our story – Three Trees Portfolio Award – Maytree Press

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