Maytree 32, our final publication of 2021 embarks on the journey of a woman’s life, from childhood, growing up, work, parenthood, the deaths of family members, to growing old.
Queen of Infinite Space by Ruth Aylett chronicles a life filled with promises, passion and love. A collection in which the author takes the reader from the empty carless streets of her childhood, the simple pleasures of family life to the rigours of parenthood and the inevitability of old age. A remarkable honest collection that saviours the past without dipping into the pool of nostalgia and one where the author unflinchingly attacks the present.
The cover features the original painting, Revealed by Yorkshire based artist, Bren Head. The Maytree team have only recently been introduced to Bren’s work which we think is fabulous and couldn’t believe our luck with the perfect fit for Ruth’s work. You can find out more about Bren below.
Queen of Infinite Space will be on general release from the 10 December 2021.
Dodging the cars with my breath
I have skate-boarded motorways
leaping top to bottom down steps
with you in my arms;
pulled you towards the bus
that never stops long enough
to let us on board,
in the vestibule of trains
whose doors close quickly
when I get off, leaving
them and you inside.
Opening my eyes
from these dreams
but still in a dream
you are standing there
wearing a green jumper
doing nothing in particular.
Because you are there
I can close my eyes again;
everything will be all right.
Brakes jam on,
wheels stop turning
the trains and buses
branch, bud; become forest.
About the author
Ruth Aylett teaches and researches computing in Edinburgh. She is widely
published in poetry magazines – for example The North, Butcher’s Dog, Prole,
Agenda, South Bank Review, and in anthologies, most recently Scotia
Extremis (Luath), Umbrellas of Edinburgh, and Mancunian Way (forthcoming).
She won the 2016 Poets meet Politics competition and the 2020 Poetry of
Her poetry has appeared in the Morning Star and the
Scottish Daily Herald. She was jointly authored a pamphlet Handfast
(Mother’s Milk) and has read at many events, most recently in Berlin at the
Haus für Poesie. For more see http://macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/writing.html
About the artist
After a life spent working in the catering trade and running her own business Bren went ‘from pans to paint’ and in 2003 gained a B.A. Hons degree in Fine Art from the University of Hull.
Although now recognised for her sensitive and haunting portraits her painting is taking a new direction.
Working from a new studio in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, she is developing a series of abstract mixed media paintings.
Influenced by the Pennine landscape and the textile history of the area she continues to explore materials and their properties adding to the tactile quality of her work.
She will, of course, continue to paint portraits.
I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not
that I have bad dreams. – Hamlet, II