Tag Archives: Poetry

Not done yet!

We have had an incredible busy year and launched a wonderful range of titles but we are not done yet!

Coming up before the end of the year we have the Sledge.Lit launch of The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey, we will also be bringing some of this year’s other new titles for a public viewing. If you can’t make Sledge but would like Tracy to sign your copy of Girl, we have done some simple foxy bookplates so let us know.

We have some free fiction to add to our collection which I am looking forward to sharing with you all, from new to us writers. 

Of course we also have three more titles to launch. 

As you know every Christmas we release our newest Monster title and this year it is Pacific Monsters, which an incredible selection of stories and art as ever. Margret Helgadottir has once again worked hard to link up with writers from the region to tell their monsters their way. 

We are also delighted to say that the multi award winning Daniele Serra will be staying on as cover artist to complete the series. 

We also have a poetry collection by the fabulous Jan Siegel who was pure skulk recently on First Date celebrity edition. Jan has guest poems in this collection from people better known in other creative arts including Pat Cadigan and Helen Lederer, who all demonstrate their adaptability here. Multiverse is a wonderful collection, dark, funny, reflective and including cake.

Approach with Caution! The second volume of the Pseudopod Tapes is almost here! A new collection of outro essays from Alasdair Stuart, one of the UK’s best genre voices and author of our own Not the Fox News column. Whether you are a listener or not the host of the world renowned horror story podcast once again offers a collection of essays on genre and life that are more than worth the price of entry. 

We would also like to remind you, if you join your kids up for the Fennec Kit’s Club they get a Christmas card and goodies from Aunty Fox and Kit, so let us know, there are limited places this close to Christmas. 

Winter Tales : Under your Skin

by Amelia Gorman

I have a poem in Fox Spirit Books’ Winter Tales anthology, edited by Margrét Helgadóttir! It’s a beautiful book, with a fun mix of fabulism, sci-fi, stories with only the smallest touch of speculative elements, poetry, all kinds of stuff. I’d like to share the things that I think are great that inspired my particular piece.

There were two specific ideas I had been kicking around for months, trying to work into a poem or story when I saw Fox Spirit’s call for Winter Tales.

The first was a ballad in a book of poetry I stumbled across at the library. I think I was looking for the book “Monsters of the Sea” but this rebound, simple book of poetry grabbed my attention. It had classics like The Mermaid by Yeats, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, many more modern pieces and a few inspiring strange anonymous ballads I had never read before.

(Weird. I want to say it was Penguin Random House’s Poems of the Sea because most of the pieces I remember being in the book EXCEPT the relevant poem is listed on the table of contents. Oh well, that looks like a nice book of poetry about the sea too.)

The best ballad that caught my attention was The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry.

An earthly nourris sits and sings,
And aye she sings, “Ba lilly wean,
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in.”

Then ane arose at her bed fit,
And a grumly guest I’m sure was he,
Saying “Here am I, thy bairn’s father,
Although I am not comely.”

I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie in the sea,
And when I’m far frae every strand,
My home it is in Sule Skerry.”

“It was na weel”, the maiden cried,
“It was na weel, indeed” quo she,
“For the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie,
To hae come and aught a bairn to me!”

Then he has taken a purse of gold,
And he has laid it on her knee,
Saying, “give to me, my little young son,
And take thee up thy nouriss fee.

It shall come to pass on a summer’s day,
When the sun shines hot on every stone,
That I shall take my little young son,
And teach him for to swim the foam.

And thou shalt marry a proud gunner,
And a very proud gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
And the very first shot that e’re he shoots,
he’ll kill both my young son and me.”

I found a number of things in this poem sticking with me. First of all, most selkie stories about women and their lives of shedding their skin, marriage, children, and usually returning to the sea. It was strange to read a story where the mythological creature was the father. Beyond that, the entire contents of the poem were just bizarre. He buys his son back? Especially knowing what’s going to happen? Is that a prophecy at the end or just him being sarcastic?

I wanted to tell a slightly more compassionate story, so I wrote about the difficulty of a formerly absent father adopting his son after the death of the mother.

Gorman - WInter Tales - blog picture

The other topic that fascinated me at the time was the Weddell seal, especially as presented by David Attenborough in the polar seas episode of Blue Planet It was almost too easy to anthropomorphize the seal’s fascinating life into something deeply lonely and tedious. The Weddell Seal is forced to gnaw open a single air hole alone all winter long so as to not run out of oxygen. In fact, its life span is shortened by its decreased ability to feed after dulling its teeth during the winter. I turn to nature documentaries for a lot of plots, the lives of animals contain so many bizarre, rich events that don’t take much work to twist into narrative structures.

Anyway, once I realized I wanted to combine those two ideas I wrote the poem that appears in Winter Tales. And along with that, I’m happy to share a very interesting ballad and one of nature’s great stories of survival, both of which are worth spending a little time with.

Copyright information for the quoted poem:
From Ballads Weird and Wonderful from 1912. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vernon_Hill,_The_Great_Silkie_of_Sule_Skerry,_1912.png.  Ballads Weird and Wonderful, 1912 can be checked up on here – https://archive.org/stream/balladsweirdwond00choprich#page/n39/mode/2up

Thank you! Yes you…

You know who you are. You have retweeted, liked, shared, reviewed, talked about, bought, loaned or just visited us over the year.

We, the editors, artists, writers, formatters etc, all of us here making books happen appreciate your interest, purchases and signal boosts over the year. If you’ve stopped to chat at an event, thank you.. sitting alone behind those tables is terrifying if no one stops to say hi.

Everyone who has passed through here, our facebook page or our twitter is valuable to us. I hope we will see you again next year. In the mean time here is a sampler of ‘And the Fox Crows’ a book of poetry drawing from fox mythology and folk lore all around the world, for you to download and enjoy.

WEBFox crows FINAL

Out Now! The Velocity of Constant

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if PK Dick wrote beat poetry? We may be getting close to answering that.

Leicester based poet Hardeep Sangha’s first novella length published work is now available in paperback from Amazon uk and worldwide.

‘Welcome to Shit Towne. Here denizens collide as they are propelled through a maelstrom of lives and time itself, struggling to escape the past and in constant search of an exit from the present. Whilst another within their midst, a man out of time, longs to return to the future. Lungs inhale, bodies contort and spines detach as all feel the unrelenting pull of velocity. ‘

A blend of poetry and prose, sci fi and a drug fueled hazy reality this is an exciting and unique offering in the world of genre fiction, all for the price of a frothy coffee.

the velocity of constant - with layout

 

We will be having a signing event with a number of authors to launch Velocity at Leicester Central Library on 6th November from 5pm.

Next!!

We told you we had a lot lined up for 2014 right? Right?

Having just released the marvelous White Rabbit by K.A Laity and the first Young Adult novel, the excellent ‘Warrior Stone : Underland’ By R.B  Harkess we are not slowing down. Next up we have the two volumes of ‘The Girl at the End of the World’, ‘Missing Monarchs’, the part prose part poetry novella ‘The Velocity of Constant’ and what we are calling ‘the summer of the wolf’, because we have two werewolf novels coming up. ‘Heart of Fire’ by J.Damask and 25 Ways to Kill a Werewolf’ by Jo Thomas.

We’ve already show you the other covers, so here is Jo’s wraparound to keep you on the edge of your seat.

25 Ways Wrap 72ppi

 

Sign up to our newsletter for more information and a free sampler of forthcoming poetry chapbook ‘And the Fox Crows’ by V.C. Linde

It’s none stop in the Fox Den to bring you fantastic fiction.

Crowing Foxes, Emily Nation and Warrior Stone

Lots of news for you all today.

First of all Warrior Stone is winging its way out into the world. We are very proud of this first Young Adult novel on the Fox Spirit roster. It’s had a cracking review already as well as some incredible pull quotes.

Cover by Linzi Goldstone 

WSUsmall

 

 

We also have a cover image reveal for Emily Nation by Alec McQuay, out later this year. The image is by Jenna Whyte. The novel is post apocalypse punk set in what’s left of Cornwall.

Book cover Base 2 copy

 

 

Finally, the sekrit project we have been working on for some time!

‘And the Fox Crows’ is a collection of poems based on fox mythology from all over the world by V.C.Linde. A free sampler will be send out with the next newsletter so sign up now! The cover will be by S.L.Johnson and we look forward to revealing that soon!