No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book

Spider-Cover A1

copyright Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book
edited by Cherry Potts
978-1-909208-93-3
8th August 2020
198X129mm 144 pages
ANTHOLOGY Short fiction/poetry
£9.99

cover design Karen Boissonneault- Gauthier

dark and delicious – let it weave a web around your heart.

Laurie Penny

 

The range of stories is gorgeous and so odd… They left me feeling more connected to the eight-legged creature that has made a home in the corner of my room.
I now co-exist with her in peace and find myself watching the other corners, waiting; that’s what these words did to me.

Anna Dempsey,
Costa Short Story Award winner 2019

Back in September 2019 we were inspired by Lady Hale and distracted by  her spider brooch. Then we realised we were coming up to our 8th Anniversary in August 2020. What better way to celebrate than with a book of Spider related stories and poems?

Poets and authors from around the world responded in astonishing numbers to our call out for work that celebrates the spider, and in which the spider survives, triumphs, and provides a role model.
Our writers have given the nod to Anansi, Robert the Bruce, Miss Muffet, and of course, Arachne herself, as well as discovering whole new worlds of spider influence and metaphor, with many stories dipping into Fantasy and Science Fiction.
A joy for any arachnid fancier, and anyone who can’t stand small lives being trampled, in prejudice or phobia.

Poems from
Chris Cantu
Daisy Bassen
Elizabeth Ditty
Emma Lee
Eugene Goldin
Federica Santini
Hugh Findlay
Jennifer A McGowan
Jennifer Rood
Joanne L M Williams
Kate Foley
Mark Andrew Heathcote
Natalie Rowe
Sarah Lawson
Seth Crook
Stella Wulf
Tracy Davidson
Tricia Knoll

Stories from
A. Katherine Black
Carolyn Robertson
CL Wearne
Daniel Olivieri
David Mathews
Elizabeth Hopkinson
Guy Russell
Helen Morris
Jackie Taylor
J. A. Hopper
KT Wagner
Margaret Crompton
Maria Kyle
Martha Nance
Patty Tomsky
Peter T Donahue
Phoebe Demeger

Eight years ago, when I started Arachne Press, I was searching for a suitable name, and came up with a short-list of 5 – I wanted something that felt like it had some history, and a strong female statement of intent. I sent that list of 5 to everyone I knew who had anything to do with publishing – authors, creative writing tutors, librarians, publishers, printers… opinion was fairly evenly divided, then someone came back saying anything but Arachne because I hate spiders and other people who hate spiders won’t buy the books; and I thought Really? Really?? and being of a contrary nature, that made my mind up for me. Arachne was on the list in the first place because we wanted out website to be integral, and because as I writer myself I often use spinning and weaving as a metaphor in my writing and as a metaphor for writing; and because one of my very first published stories was Arachne’s Daughters which tells the story of a talk given by a spider (in semaphore) at an archive meeting of the Arachno-Lesbian league, 13 years after the revolution…

Fast forward seven years and watching the historic judgement of the Supreme Court in rejecting the legality of the prorogation of Parliament, I was entranced by Lady Hale’s spider brooch, and texted my partner, who as outside the court, It’s going to be alright she’s wearing a spider. A completely illogical response, but as I turned off the TV and went back to my desk I thought, time for a spider anthology, and Oh! Its our eighth anniversary next August!

I was not expecting many stories and poems, and was resigned to publishing a slim volume of eight poems and eight stories, and possibly including Arachne’s Daughters, but no! This was the biggest response we’ve ever had to a call out, despite my strictures to avoid horror, and that no spider should die; except, perhaps, heroically. So thank you to all those writers who upheld my faith in human nature and thank you to Lady Hale for giving me the nudge to celebrate spiders properly.