art, poetry

Queen of Infinite Space – cover reveal

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.

Pilgrimage

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,
piled possessions
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
Science Competition.

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

Bren Head

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.

Website: https://brenheadartist.co.uk/

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

art, poetry

Coming of Age – Maytree 21

It’s now two years since the first Maytree was planted and in early spring of 2019 we saw the pale green leaves of Maytree 001 in the form of Swn y Morloi by Hannah Stone reach out to the poetry community with critical acclaim.

Swn y Morloi

We are delighted that over the course of the last two years, what followed Hannah’s wonderful collection has been a series of pamphlets and anthologies that we have been so proud to help bring into the world.

Included in our publications have been the award winning The Collective Nouns for Birds by the brilliant Amanda Huggins and the Saboteur Awards shortlisted, The Ghost Hospital by Pauline Rowe.

We are now delighted to reveal our coming of age publication.

January by Sarah Barr will be our 21st publication and penultimate one of 2020.

Sarah was born in London, studied English at London University, Social Sciences at Southampton University and now lives in Dorset where she writes poetry and fiction, teaches writing, mentors writers and leads a Stanza group. Her poems have twice won the Dorset Award in the Bridport Prize. She has worked as a counsellor and as an Open University tutor of social sciences and creative writing. Sarah often writes about relationships and has particular interests in psychological, social and environmental issues.

January is a deeply moving collection where the reader is transported from snow-bound English landscapes to the watery reflections of Venice where profound moments are mirrored by time and place.

The cover is another Maytree special this time featuring the wonderful original artwork of Saddleworth based artist, Richard Clare.

Maytree is the folk name for the Hawthorn Tree. Named after the month in which the tree blooms, the leaves are often the first to appear in spring signifying new life. When naming our press we felt it was the perfect name to encompass both our environmental and publishing ambitions.

However, that was then. No one could have dreamed of the world we now find ourselves part of when we celebrated those first steps into the world of publishing. Then a world of new curiosity fueled by a resurgence of independent pubs, cafes, bookshops and cultural outlets. A world where public buildings and libraries had rallied against political sabotage and been saved from extinction by local groups of like minded folk who brought craft, literature, music, theatre, dance and a sense of belonging back to the heart of communities. And now…

As Maytree is entirely self-funded (and hopes to remain that way), the last few months have been challenging. Our ambition to produce upwards of fourteen books in the last year has been tested but we have weathered the storm and continued to support our authors and contributors. We’ve had some wonderful successes along the way and we’ll be able to share news of some of some of these highs in the new year.

With the ongoing situation look set to continue we took the difficult decision to reduce our output for 2021. This was made even harder by the huge response we had during our short submissions window. The record for the earliest submission following the opening at midnight on the 01 August was at 3 minutes past midnight. In total we received 118 amazing submissions and since closing our window, continue to receive enquires. All we can say is thank you for trusting us with your work and allowing us the opportunity to publish. The list of 118 was whittled down to a shortlist of twenty which the final list was drawn from – it’s no exaggeration that, second to software issues, this was the most difficult task we’ve faced in the last two years.

Those who have read our newsletter will already be familiar with our 2021 list of featured poets – for those who aren’t signed up, here’s the news:

  • Pauline Rowe – The Weight of Snow
  • Ruth Aylett – Queen of Infinite Space
  • Barbara Hickson – A Kind of Silence
  • Sean Street – The Sound Recordist
  • Joe Williams – The Taking Part
  • Fay Kesby – Shul
  • Nicola Warwick – Naming the Land

We’re now busy working on the schedules for these publications which we can guarantee are all incredible. We’ll also have publications from Anne Steward and a further opportunity for one poet’s work to feature as the next Three Trees Edition.

And finally – just a reminder that all our wonderful publications are now available in our shiny new on-line shop. Your support is really appreciated. Thank you.

https://maytreepress.bigcartel.com/