news (and how to buy books)

In autumn 2019 the anthology This Place I Know (Handstand Press, 2018) £10.00 ISBN:978-0-9576609-6-0 was awarded won first prize in the award for poetry and literature at the Lakeland Book of the Year awards and was also a very close runner up for the Book of the Year. Hunter Davies said some very complimentary things about the anthology, commenting on the quality and range of poetry and the professionalism of the publication. He recommended it as the ideal holiday read. 

A new publication: Magdelana was published as a pamphlet by Maytree Press of Marsden, West Yorkshire in May 2022. Based on what is known of the historical Mary Magdalen, the collection also  explores how and why myths are created, as it presents, mainly in her voice, her life in Magdala, on the road with Jesus of Nazareth and after his death. The second part of the book imagines her as a surviving spirit, or presence, trapped by her naming, following her through the centuries the south of France, where one the mythical biographies takes her as a hermit to the hills north of Marseille before her death. 

ISBN: 978-1-913508-26-5 Price: £7.00/C$11.00

To order a copy of Magdalena, or of The Archaeologist’s Daughter, published by Wayleave in April 2019 (£5.00/C$8.00)  email Books are available in the UK or EU now and in Canada from July 28th 2022. Books are sent post free within the UK or Canada.


Here is one of the poems from Magdalena:

The anatomy of rapture

it was enough
that the breathing of trees
drew us circles of clear ground – 

we had gathered 
the stars by then, the darkness
was more than its own shadow,

we were warm mouths
that passed from tongue to tongue
the word become substance.

when the great wind came
I was swallowed and borne up higher
than Arrarat; black flame licked me

and my frame 
was pure sound and my belly
trembled: I was everything,

I was nothing,
and the sense of it was finer
than the brush of petals on bare skin.

all I know is
we rose from under the trees
like children, like prophets.

© Antony Christie May 2022


and a poem from The Archaeologist’s Daughter:

The Archaeologist’s Daughter is in love
(and 20)

her lips graze his lips,
wander his cheekbones
like a camel hair brush
clarifying a tanned fragment
of anonymous,
five hundred year old skin
in a dry crypt –

she is conscious of this
as metaphor,
as fact,
but the fragrance of it,
the soft saltiness,
this is all new.

she uses her hand
as a trowel,
scrapes cloth
from the spine knots,
the smooth spider leg curve
of rib after rib.

the pulses trouble her,
the patterns and pauses of breath –
his hollowness
is full of substance,

an artefact of sensation
that tangles her centres of pure thought
with the fine sweetness
of temporary dissolution.

© Antony Christie March 2019

Cannon’s Creek

Early in 2021, after a year of lockdowns, quarantine hotels, curfews, border closures as Covid epidemics raged on all continents and through most countries, a new press, dedicated to showcasing the work of contemporary poets in the Saugeen country, the Queen’s Bush of Treaties 45½ (1836) and 72 (1854). and surrounding areas was born.

Cannon’s Creek, named after an obscure tributary of the Beatty Saugeen River in the south of Grey County, was originally planned as a non-profit organization that would produce three poetry pamphlets a year, each featuring one or two local poets chosen in an annual competition, but the editors, Antony Christie, Caroline Menzies, Harry Posner, Richard-Yves Sitoski, Hazel Smith and Claudia Strelocke, all of whom were writers themselves, decided the reaction of local poets to the pandemic should be recorded, so SPIKE, Poems in the Time of Pestilence  became its first project. The collection developed through the Spring and Summer of 2021, over 40 poets were invited to contribute, and the resulting anthology was published in December 2021. 

Though most of the books from the first print runs have now been sold, copies are still available from Ginger Press, 848 2nd Ave E, Owen Sound, ON N4K 2H3, and possibly other local bookstores, for C$15.95. It is worth enquiring!


Publications scheduled for 2023 and 2024

This summer Brucedale Press of Port Elgin, Ontario will publish a collection which has been slowly developing towards book length since I first moved to Ontario in 1969. Between 1971 and 1983 I spent most of my time living and working in the area once known as The Queen’s Bush as the first treaties ceding what are now seven counties of SW Ontario to the crown, which followed the classic early 19th century pattern combining expropriation of land with what is now, cynically, often referred to as ethnic cleansing, were signed just before Queen Victoria came to the throne and subsequent expropriations continued into the later years of her reign. In the poems I include my own experiences, mainly in Grey County, and try to recapture the struggles of the early European settlers, which included relatives of mine from County Cavan in Ireland who settled in Wellington County just south of my schoolhouse home. I write about the seasons, the fauna and flora of the area and of those who came before. The starting point is a recreation of the encounter between the census enumerator and one of the last documented Ojibway families in Normanby township in 1861.   

Full details of the book, entitled CONJURING A GHOST ROAD will be available here in July.


MARTHA LUCAS was born into a poor farming household in Corraneary townland in County Cavan in 1834 and died in her daughter’s house in Kirkdale, Liverpool, England in the influenza epidemic of December 1910. I have created in the collection which bears her name a fictional Martha to explore the experiences of  an emigrant who left Ireland in the years following the famine for one of the burgeoning manufacturing and trading cities of Northern England. In the poems I have  remained true to the few facts about her life that emerged from about five years of research but have filled in the gaps with events that might have occurred, for example a ride up to Stanley Park in an electric tram with her granddaughters to celebrate a birthday! The book will be published before the end of July 2024 by Pindrop Press of Gardoussel, France and Glasgow, Scotland.

Full details available early next year.

One thought on “news (and how to buy books)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s