A magical wild week in Ireland filled with poetry, story and music saw all events sold out and an article in the Irish Times.
And as he travelled across Ireland, Martin left 50 copies of his latest book Bardskull, an edition that can’t be bought with no ISBN number, in copses, under stones, by raggedy little wells, in shopping centres, taverns and rivers – each copy a snake attempting to return to Ireland.
Says Martin: “There’s older ways to enter Ireland than ferry tickets or passport waggles, and I hope these words burrow past some of the pain of Leaving or Remaining and are received as a clear, loving gesture.”
The tour kicked off in Dublin with Fire in the Head, a rare, deep and rich conversation with the genius Tommy Tiernan and music from Patrick O’Laoghaire and guests, culminating in a surprise performance from Liam O’Maonlai.
Martin has returned to Devon with tales of a visit to the wonderful Lilliput Press, home of the writings of philosopher John Moriarty, forays out into the lakes and hills to ancient monasteries, sheltering in a tavern with pints of black nectar, blown away by Irish pipers and impromptu songs.
After Dublin it was on to Thoor Ballylee and Yeats’s Tower for a day of myth and stories, with a tremendous welcome from the Thoor Ballylee Society.
“It was wonderful to see so many of you from near and far,” says Martin. “What a fairytale ending to utterly marvellous Ireland adventures.”
For anyone who missed out, there will be a gathering in Devon on November 16, The Storyteller and the Shaman: the Woman Who Married a Bear, where Martin will be weaving many ancient stories and new ideas, including the extremely rare and off-the-beaten-Taiga Siberian tale of The Woman Who Married a Bear.
An extract from Bardskull:
Let it be known my ancestors are not just people, they are rivers, hills, caves and hawks. They are rain-bears, thumping their sleepy belly for sex and meat in the middle of a Siberian winter. They are the green ink in Lorca’s pen, they are twelve young stags in an autumn glade.
Neb is min niperweard
‘my tooth is long’
And I may bite you.
You have to come with me.