LEASUNGSPELL (SMOKESTACK BOOKS)
‘A work of sustained visionary imagination the like of which is rarely encountered in contemporary English poetry. The language rings like the clashing of broadswords – this poem must be read out loud – and from that energy and violence, a vivid new world, at once both archaicand strangely contemporary, emerges.’
657AD. Northumbria, one of the seven warring Anglo Saxon kingdoms, where Celtic and Roman Christianity, old pagan beliefs and magic clash. Oswin, a monk from the monastery of Herutea travels to Streonshalh bearing secret letters from the Abbess Hild. This means treading a path across a volatile wilderness where faith, history, myth and folklore intertwine to form the threads of the Wyrd. Written in a powerful mix of Old English, modern English and northern dialect forms, Bob Beagrie’s Leásungspell Leásungspell is a narrative epic poem about a pre-Modern world. It is a tale of twisting digressions, dreamscapes and stories within stories. It is also an anti-epic, a fool’s yarn, the small tale of a nobody wandering alone through the Dark Ages.
A recording of parts of Leásungspell with musical accompaniment by Sara Dennis, SJ Forth, Kev Howard and Peter Lagan is now available at http://www.leasungspell.com
Bob Beagrie is a poet, playwright, and senior lecturer in Creative Writing at Teesside University. He has published six collections of poetry, including The Seer Sung Husband (also published by Smokestack) and SAMPO: Heading Further North (written with Andy Willoughby). His poetry has been translated into Urdu, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Russian, Danish, Spanish, and Swedish.
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