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Stone Talks
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Stone Talks (Paperback)

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Stone Talks brings together poems and four talks/essays by noted poet Alyson Hallett on the subject of stones, rocks, somatics and our relationship with our environment.

The book invites us to listen again to the world around us - the world of rocks and trees and sky and stars and sea that we participate in and that participates in us.

It reawakens a childlike curiosity in us, makes connections that we had forgotten, and gives us permission to experience the world in an embodied and vibrant way that was drummed out of the rest of us long ago.

The book starts with an essay on KInship inspired by Donna Haraway's ideas about how we must make relationships of kin with all things, including what she refers to as `critters'. In it, Alyson explores the twin ideas of embodied reading and embodied walking. How, exactly, can we embody the ideas in a book? Here, the author "dives into kinship with the decomposed bodies of plankton, plants and animals whose liquidation created that beautiful, black viscous gold we call oil".

In the title essay, Stone Talks, Alyson revisits the keynote lecture she gave at the `In Other Tongues' symposium at Dartington. In it she explores her lived experience of being talked to and guided in her life by stones. She examines the ideas of obedience and yielding, the body as a wilderness, and unfolds a walked artwork with stones that she undertook soon after her father died.

In Haunted Landscapes, Alyson explores the marks and traces of our own and others' lives that inhabit our bodies and experience. Wandering into quantum physics, she asks questions that "set me afloat on a fathomless sea".

Finally, in The Stone Monologues, Alyson embarks on a quest to "understand myself not as a single thing, a single point, but rather a constellation, a layered interruption in time comprising everyone and everything I encounter".

Alyson Hallett has received Arts Council awards for her work. She is a Hawthornden Fellow, works part-time for the Royal Literary Fund and loves collaborating with other artists and scientists. She has a doctorate in poetry with research into geographical intimacy. In Stone Talks, she shares some of what she is learning from stones. She talks "from the mud. From the earth. From the place we haunt and are haunted by." The talking is exquisite.

Art, Fashion & PhotographyArt monographs, history & theoryArt formsNon-graphic art forms incl Digital, Sculpture & InstallationsFiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poetsNatural World & The EnvironmentThe environmentSocial impact of environmental issues Publisher: Triarchy Press Publication Date: 10/09/2019 ISBN-13: 9781911193555  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Alyson Hallett grew up in Street, Somerset. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and a practice-based PhD in poetry and geographical intimacy from St Mary's University, Twickenham. She has published more than 14 books: sole-authored collections of poetry, short stories, artists' books, Six Days in Iceland in collaboration with geographer Chris Caseldine and walking limping stumbling falling with walking artist Phil Smith. Her latest book, LZRD: Poems from the Lizard Peninsula, is co-authored with Penelope Shuttle and her recent pamphlet, Toots, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks and Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards. She has written an essay on chalk for Radio 3 and drama and an audio diary for Radio 4. Collaboration is at the heart of Alyson's work. She has worked with dancers, musicians, visual artists and glass makers and received grants from Arts Council England. Her work with sculptor and letter carver Alec Peever has spanned two decades and includes a poem carved into Milsom Street pavement in Bath, poems carved into boulders on a housing estate in Kew, and the 5 migrating stones that make up the Migrations Habits of Stones international poetry and public art project. Alyson was the country's first poet to be resident in a university Geography Department with a Leverhulme artist-in-residence award. She has been a poet-in-residence at Charles Causley's house and the Small School, Hartland; writer-in-residence for the Arts Council's Year of the Artist and the Endelienta Trust. Alyson is a visiting lecturer in poetry at the University of the West of England and on the MA Illustration in Falmouth. She also works part-time for the Royal Literary Fund as a Reading Round Lector. Ongoing collaborative work with movement artist Deborah Black involves an exploration of embodied writing and how the body and the written word come together and inform each other. Early in her career Alyson attended a summer school run by the performance group Goat Island. This, along with working as a housekeeper for the Iona Community on the Isle of Iona for a year and a half, blew her mind and heart wide open and formed the foundations from which she works and lives. Alyson has also worked as a post woman, bar person, cleaner and mental health worker. She lives in a village near Bath, loves to walk and play piano and is a Hawthornden Fellow.

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