In Chanteys for the Fisherangels four poets give voice to the inspiration found in Lal Waterson’s song “Midnight Feast” and in turn, inspire me. J.C. Runolfson gives us The sky is the floor of an ocean, followed by Sonya Taaffe’s The Coast Guard. Then comes in Francesca Forrest with Invitation Refused and finally, Feather, Halo, Hook and Line by Erik Amundsen. Their words are introduced by Greer Gilman, who writes as eloquently as ever of Lal and the feast. The poems are interspersed with four full colour photographs spread across the pages, images captured by Sonya Taaffe at the edge of the sea.
Lal Waterson was a northern lass whose people hailed from Yorkshire, a harsh territory that is often windswept and cold. My challenge was to make a book that reflected the climate out of which Lal’s music grew, one of angels fallen into sand. The spine is battered and inside you can see the bones of its structure, as though like driftwood, it had been left on a beach for too long. Feathers and shells adorn a cover of handmade blue paper, which has been glazed to protect it from the storm. The books are perfect bound with a reinforced spine and have handmade endpapers laid over the linen paper which covers the interior board. Because of the nature of these books, no two are exactly alike.
This is a limited, numbered edition of 33 copies, of which 25 are available for sale. They are signed by the binder, making this the second edition I’ve created in which any sort of binder’s mark appears.
The book has 26 pages, of which 8 are in full colour.
The people who made it happen:
Greer Gilman is the author of two novels, Moonwise (1991) and Cloud & Ashes: Three Winter’s Tales (2009), which have between them won the Crawford, the World Fantasy, and the Tiptree Awards. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Salon Fantastique, Century, The Faces of Fantasy, Trampoline, and Mythic Delirium; her academic work has or will appear in The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and in a companion to literary fantasy forthcoming from the Cambridge University Press. She has been a Guest of Honor at Readercon and the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and travels in stone circles. Visit her website at http://greergilman.com for more.
J. C. Runolfson is a Rhysling-nominated poet whose work has appeared in Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, and Strange Horizons, among others. She comes from a long line of sailors and fishers, and is always happiest in the ocean. Lucky for her, she lives in San Diego, where visiting the tide is possible year-round.
Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Poems and short stories of hers have won the Rhysling Award, been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award and the Dwarf Stars Award, and been reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, The Best of Not One of Us, and Trochu divné kusy 3. A selection of her work can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. The sea has always been one of her desires.
Francesca Forrest is ravenous for a midnight feast, but the sound of the ocean ringing in her fellow poets’ offerings will feed her for now.
Taken broadly, Erik Amundsen has had an interesting life; he’s been a baker, an itinerant schoolteacher, worked for two governments and gotten in bar fights overseas. He now lives at the foot of a cemetery in central Connecticut where he writes ferocious little stories and poems that shuffle around in the night when he’s not looking. Or at least he hopes it’s them; something’s got to be making those noises and it’s not the furnace. His poetry has appeared in Mythic Delirium and Goblin Fruit and short fiction in Weird Tales.