Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Voices From Fairyland: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner
I'm pleased to announce the publication of Voices From Fairyland: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner, edited and with poems by Theodora Goss. This is Number 20 in Aqueduct's Conversation Pieces Series.
The volume, which is 148 pages, includes four original essays--
Introduction," "Through the Gates of Ivory and Horn: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge"; "Into the Wet, Wild Wood: The Fantastical Poems of Charlotte Mew"; "A Birdsong Wilderness: The Fantastical Poems of Sylvia Townsend Warner"-- 12 poems each by Coleridge and Warner; 8 poems by Mew; and 18 poems by Goss, 10 of them original to the volume.
In the Introduction, Goss writes:
In this book I chose to focus on poems by Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner because of all the poets I could have included, they were the ones whom I thought had been the most unjustly neglected--the most talented among those whose talent had gone largely unrecognized. They were also the ones whom I most loved, but I think that unjust neglect was a part of my love for them. I felt protective toward them, and also fierce in promoting their work. I did not have to worry about arguing for Christina Rossetti's relevance; she is, as I have mentioned, taught everywhere. But I felt that I had to argue for Warner because, although attention has been paid to her prose, almost nothing has been written about her poetry. While I was working on this anthology, a friend asked me why I was working on it rather than on a story, or even a novel. I said, "If I don't do it, who will?" It felt like an obligation toward three women writers who had influenced me deeply.
But Coleridge, Mew, and Warner are only three examples of what I consider a broader phenomenon, the rest of the ice that must be present, underwater, when we see icebergs floating on a northern sea. That underwater ice is the tradition of women writing fantastical poetry.
Voices from Fairyland is available now through Aqueduct's website and will be available at WisCon; it will likely be available through other venues in a few weeks or so.