Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia
“Martin Shaw is, without exaggeration, the most powerful writer of prose that I have read. A wild light begins to gleam in our eyes, our hair grows long, our language begins to shift, and in some inexplicable way, as humans long ago understood we could, we begin to become old growth ourselves.” Stephen Harrod Buhner, award winning author of Ensouling Language & Plant Intelligence.
Join us for a book launch and teachings with Dr. Martin Shaw – Writer, Teacher, Mythologist.
Its this old idea that you get sometimes, that, this place is not just mineral deposits and old bones. It is the flank of a dreaming animal. And if you put your ear close enough to the ground, you tune your ear long enough, you get to hear its strange emanations.
Scatterlings is an old word that really means of everywhere and nowhere, and I think thats a malaise many of us are facing right now. Were not nomads. Were scatterlings.
Scatterlings is about holding up the corner of the earth that has claimed you. Its messy, opinionated, and asks more of you than you will likely want to give. Its the tale of a myth teller making a circle round their den and bedding in. No tales of flapping Tibetan prayer flags, no wandering the deserts of North Africa. Over five years Ive worked the crooked lanes of local story until I could go no further. Till I walked straight out of this century altogether.
It comes with a price attached. Its recklessly insistent on the urge to kick your boots off, get down on your knees and kiss rough soil, crawl under barbed wire fences and touch the bark of holy trees, hoot and strut and weep and let the wild darkness get its beautiful paws on you once again. Hurl whisky on the grave of Joe Strummer, kiss the wounded, spend a night in a hollow tree. Taste the golden milk from the teat of a rain bear. Un-refine yourself. Un-civilise yourself. Its about the hundred secret things. For all its bookishness, for all its insistence on study, make no mistake, what it desires most is to get you out where the buses dont park. What it calls for is a kind of elegant disintegration. What follows is a different kind of activism, a different kind of thinking.
“A true master. Martin Shaw is one of the very greatest storytellers we have.” Robert Bly, author of Iron John
Dr. Martin Shaw is widely regarded as one of the most exciting teachers of the mythic imagination. He is the author of the award winning A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Snowy Tower, and Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia (2016). Director of the Westcountry School of Myth in the UK, Shaw also devised and led the Oral Tradition course at Stanford University. Principal teacher at the Great Mother conference in the US, recent collaborations have included Old Gods with Mark Rylance and Paul Kingsnorth at the Edinburgh Book festival. His translations of Gaelic poetry and folklore (with Tony Hoagland) have been published in Orion Magazine, Poetry International, Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine, and Mississippi Review. Current work includes: The Nightingale and the Lion (a poetic rumination on the ecstasies, secret traditions and love myths of the west), and Courting the Dawn: Poems of Lorca.