Bardskull: a sneak preview
As the funding of Dr Martin Shaw’s brand new book Bardskull hits 61 per cent from 181 supporters, he has released a recording to give a little glimpse of what awaits.
The recording is the story of Gawain and the Green Knight, told by a Hare hidden in Gawain’s saddlebag.

Bardskull, a powerful fusion of memoir and myth, is the record of three journeys made in the year before Martin turned fifty. For each, he walks alone into a forest in the heart of Dartmoor and waits.

The book is scheduled to be published in 2022 by Unbound Books, which has launched a fund raising project to get it to press. There’s all manner of rewards on offer, including an original page of manuscript, signed first edition hardbacks, t-shirts, tickets to a launch party, special edition prints and even Bardskull cider in an incendiary small batch.

Says Martin: “I got myself into a studio last week so you can catch a moment of Bardskull developing as it goes. It was a delight to wander with Gawain for a little while.”

John Mitchinson, founder of Unbound Books, says: “Bardskull can be read as a fable, as a memoir, as autofiction, as an attempt to undomesticate myth. It is all those things, but it doesn’t come from nowhere.

“It takes its place inside a tradition that connects Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell to D.H. Lawrence’s Apocalypse; Ted Hughes’s Moortown Diary to Geoffrey Hill’s Mercian Hymns; Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber to Sharon Olds’ Stag’s Leap and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica to Nick Cave’s Sick Bag Songs.

“It is a magnificent, unclassifiable work of the imagination”

Listen to the 12-minute recording of Gawain and the Green Knight here.

There is also a short film and an excerpt from the book here.

Listen to the recording
Pledge here

Cista archives

Don’t forget the Cista Mystica archives, a treasure chest of golden nuggets gathered up in one place. They include interviews, videos, articles, book reviews and essays. The list can be found in the news section of the website. It’s our hope you’ll find something here to stash in your saddlebags for the road ahead, whatever it may bring.

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