No Spider Harmed in the Making of this Book
edited by Cherry Potts
8th August 2020
198X129mm 144 pages
ANTHOLOGY Short fiction/poetry
Inspired by Lady Hale and her spider brooch, 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?
Jennifer A McGowan
Joanne L M Williams
Mark Andrew Heathcote
A. Katherine Black
J. A. Hopper
Peter T Donahue
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.