I think any artist yearns for agency. To be able to make a few swift moves without everything grinding to a committee vote. Stuffed birds don’t fly. I am lucky enough to have a readership that seem invested in what I’m doing, and this is an honouring of that investment. These books may or may not have great commercial clout, but they will-not-suck, I promise you that.
Growing up in the seventies and eighties, there was a DIY attitude to art that I respected. You didn’t wait around. Punk Rock had something to do with that, poverty had something to do with that. Myth tells us the genius dwells on the margins, and so often when it gets discovered by the masses it loses its wolf-teeth, it loses its charm, it loses its nutrition, it loses its romance. So Cista Mystica is a magical warding off of that hokum road. That sedentary inevitability. As I’ve said before:
No more tame language about wild things.
We think it is time for chutzpah, wit and a little beauty.
Eros and Rigour could shack up in your mind and refuse to leave.
Some of our influences are: Geronimo, Virginia Woolf, Torquay sea front, Kate Bush, The Song of Songs and Howlin’ Wolf.
There is a core team of myself, Lucy Cooper and Michael Martin. We also have an artisan division of Tim Russell and David Stevenson who make special editions, lino cuts and all sorts of bespoke offerings. I also paint and draw, so the press will be a home for that too. Also audio will be a big thing. We may take on a few other authors over time.