art, poetry, 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.