We are celebrating our 10th anniversary by exploring our back catalogue and inviting you to do likewise with special offers on books celebrating their anniversaries in each month.
So for November we have a voucher, ARA10NOV, to get 50% off the following books – all anthologies this month, as we often do a book to coincide with Short Story week in November.
An Outbreak of Peace
What Meets the Eye
Liberty Tales2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta and Arachne Press celebrated with an evening of stories, poetry and song on the subject of Liberty. The call out continued until the end of the year, and here are the collected and eclectic responses.
Outbreak of Peace Stories and Poems in Response to the End of WWINovember 2018 marked the centenary of the end of World War I. After all the commemorative works of art over the previous four years, we felt it was important to reflect on what comes after – an outbreak of peace, and what that meant to the combatants and those left at home. This wide-ranging collection brings together stories and poems from many countries, on both sides of the 1914-18 conflict, finding their inspiration in many wars and their endings; together with stories and poems which are not about war at all, which is as it should be.
StationsAlready reduced to £5 so with this offer a teeny £2.50! Twenty-four new short stories in homage to the East and South London section of the Overground Line: a story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the line, all the way to Highbury & Islington.
What Meets the Eye Poems, short fiction and scripts from UK Deaf, deaf and Hard of Hearing writers. on the theme of movement.
Departures: from The Story Sessions Stories and poems of leaving and going adrift, being left behind, taking wrong turns, stepping out of the everyday and making splendid leaps into the dark.The Story Sessions ran for four years in south London. Our monthly themed events took a lead from folkclubs, we had headliners, support acts and floor spots – Flash from the Floor, audience participation written in the interval.
The Story Sessions was an invigorating, sweet experiment, and we are proud to have created a permanent record – new stories from some of The Story Sessions stalwarts and discoveries.
All you need to do is use the code ARA10NOV at the check out when you buy any or all of these books – you can only use the code once, so we encourage you to buy in bulk!
Today is Suicide Prevention Day. You might think, What’s that got to do with Poetry?
Quite a bit it turns out, for poet Jeremy Dixon, who recently won the Wales Book of the Year Poetry award.
We have a flash sale today only 50% off with the code PREVENT50 on print book from our webshop and audio or ebook from our e-store
Jeremy’s collection A Voice Coming from Then charts the homophobic bullying he experienced as a teenager and his subsequent suicide attempt, and recovery forging an identity for himself that rejected the negative image he had forced on him by the bullies. Along the way it is heartbreaking and hilarious and joyful.
Reading the poems in manuscript when Jeremy first submitted the collection I was sobbing uncontrollably within pages.
This is the precise response I sent to Jeremy whilst still mopping my tears.
Content warning notwithstanding, you may have to wait a while for a coherent answer, I’m already in tears and I’ve only got to Anne Sexton. Not feeling strong enough for this right now, but if they are all like this, it’s going to be an emphatic YES.
and not much later the same day
And then I had to go back and finish, and of COURSE it’s YES.
I don’t often weep over a MS, but as I know Jeremy a bit from publishing him before and meeting at events, it was probably tougher than reading these from a stranger. Which brings me to the vexed question of Content Warnings.
Jeremy has this to say on the subject in the introduction:
// a note on content warnings
For me content warnings really work. If I am not prepared then sometimes just seeing the word ‘suicide’ has an emotional effect.
And I get it, I really do, I have had a complete melt down from authors sending me (sometimes unsolicited, grrr) graphic distressing material without warning. Some of that is outrage that they think they can do that, at least in a bookshop you’ve chosen to pick the book up, in a MS there’s nothing to indicate what’s there until it’s too late. And I don’t voluntarily read things that are going to upset me, real life is quite sufficient, thanks. BUT it means I probably won’t pick up a book with a content warning on the cover. And other people may think twice too.
When we were recording the audiobook (voiced by the MAGNIFICENT Nigel Pilkington) we cautioned both Nigel and our sound engineer, Jess, that it was potentially an emotional listen, and Jess in particular just shrugged, and said ‘powerful, isn’t it,’ because we had warned her.
The book is peppered with statistics and there are resources at the end.
just one accepting adult
in a LGBTQ+ young person’s life
can reduce the risk
of suicide by 40%
The Trevor Project, 2019
I wanted to be make the book as safe as possible. So as part of that I decided on this, the structure of the poems as couplets so that there would be nothing about the structure or the forms of the poems that would throw people, and then tied to that was the use of statistics to give a kind of grounding to give an overview, to give it a different voice, a research voice, but they were still formatted in the same way as poems so that they’re like tiny, tiny little poems themselves.
Homophobia, bullying, cruelty, suicide attempts… hard, hard things to experience, hard to write about, but in Jeremy’s careful, compassionate hands, emotional, but rewarding, cathartic and inspiring.
As Andy Welch one of the judges of the Wales Book of the Year said during the announcement on Radio Wales,
It just took me aback completely. It was so shocking, but something so beautiful to come out of it.
And Jeremy at the launch of the book said this:
I wonder if [writng the book] is another form of potential protection… in some ways, it’s been a very healing process… once the poem’s written, and especially when it’s in a book, there’s another distancing. I think for me this relates to the book as an object. It’s like everything is contained in that book now, so I don’t need to carry it around with me anymore.
So if, like me, you shy away from a content warning, be encouraged, this is a generous kindly book that doesn’t want to steep you in trauma, it wants to share recovery and particular joy of looking back at a tough time and realising it really is the past, and that by writing about that past we can change our future.
Today is exactly one year since we published A Voice Coming From Thenby Jeremy Dixon. Largely written and edited during lockdown, A Voice Coming From Then recently won the English-language Poetry award at the Wales Book of the Year 2022 and this has given us another chance to celebrate Jeremy and his extraordinary collection in real life.
We’re building an A Voice Coming From Then tour of Wales this Autumn, with events already planned at several libraries, independent bookshops and Waterstones stores across Wales this October and November.
If you run a bookshop, library, arts venue or poetry night, then please get in touch with us on email@example.com and let us know if you’d be interested in hosting an event with Jeremy Dixon as a part of this tour.
If you’re in Wales (or close by) and would like to see Jeremy reading from A Voice Coming From Then, please keep an eye on our blog and social media channels for the event dates and locations – coming soon!
A Voice Coming From Thenstarts with Jeremy Dixon’s teenage suicide attempt and expands to encompass themes of bullying, queerphobia, acceptance and support.
As well as exploring identity, the tragic effects of bullying and the impact of suicide, this collection also includes unexpected typography, collage, humour, magic, discotheques and frequent appearances from the Victorian demon, Spring-heeled Jack.
One of the Wales Book of the Year judges commented: “I really admire Jeremy’s ability to be so vulnerable. I felt like he just really put his heart and his whole self into the collection.” Congratulations to Jeremy on having this immensely personal and moving collection out in the world for a whole year.
Our Jolabokaflod 2021 offering: buy a second (roughly) half-price copy of the same book. Applies to any book with a cover price of £9.99 or less, until 17th December, last 2nd class posting day for Christmas.
Buy early, buy two!
The Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve and staying up all nights reading (with optional vat of hot chocolate) is known as Jolabokaflod – literally, Yule Book Flood.
We’d like to encourage this tradition, so this year, we are offering a discount on second copies of the same book. When you order, ask for 1 copy, and add the Jolabokaflod ‘product’ for £5, and we’ll send you 2 copies. This can be used once for each full-price title you order.