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Songs of the Darkness
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Songs of the Darkness brings together a selection of poems for Christmas written over a period of more than thirty years. They are notable for their combination of a close focus and breadth, and for the way in which the seasonal is celebrated alongside the challenges of history and the beauty of the natural world. topographically the poems range from a Romanian convent to a Devon beach to an alpine cablecar. The finely drawn illustrations by Erica Sail, the writer's daughter, add their own note of precision and detail. Taken together with the poems, they help to create a perspective in which the darkness of winter really does yield up its music. All royalties from sales of Songs of the Darkness will be given to Trusts for African Schools, a registered charity which acts as a conduit for money raised in the UK to be sent out to some of the poorest schools in Africa. More information, and details of the ten individual schools currently supported by the Trusts, eight in Kenya, and one each in Uganda and Ethiopia, are available on the website www.trustsforafricanschools.org.
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Table of Contents

Proofs Slack Chickweed The Cablecar Annunciation Sloes Echo Winter Truces Songs of the Darkness The Glimmering Winter Solstice Christmas Night Nativity Looking in A Leaf Falling Chameleon Song The Light at Agapia From the Larch Allotments in Winter And the Shepherds Returned The Puzzle When Holding-Ground A Christmas Candle Winter Song Overwintering

About the Author

Lawrence Sail has been chairman of the Arvon Foundation and has directed the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. The recipient of a Cholmondeley Award and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has published nine collections of poems, most recently Eye-Baby (Bloodaxe Books, 2006). In 2005 Enitharmon published a book of his essays, Cross-currents. He has edited a number of anthologies, including First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (Faber, 1988) and, with Kevin Crossley-Holland, The New Exeter Book of Riddles (Enitharmon, 1999) and Light Unlocked (Enitharmon, 2005). In addition to Songs of the Darkness, two books are due out in 2010: from Bloodaxe, Waking Dreams: New & Selected Poems; and from Impress Books, Sift: Memories of Childhood.

Reviews

'Lawrence Sail's poetry is beautifully pictorial, evocative and deeply thoughtful. He writes of the presence of God with us, light in our darkness. I am glad that this collection will help to support the education of children in Africa.' ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU

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