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The Bramble King
The Bramble King

The Bramble King


72 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $12.99 (US $12.99) (CA $17.99)

Publication Date: June 2019

ISBN 9781781725078

Rights: US, CA, LAM, SAM & CAR

Seren (Jun 2019)

Price: $12.99


The Bramble King is full of darkly resonant tales, ingenious parables, curiously haunted rooms and palaces, and beautifully observed images of the natural world. A prolific, popular and prize-winning author of fantasy fiction, Catherine began her career as a poet, and Seren published her early volumes: Immrama, The Unexplored Ocean and Altered States. The Bramble King is Fisher’s first collection of poems since 1999. The book opens with a series dedicated to imaginary planets, each with unique properties: sometimes sinister, such as ‘Hades’ where “the sky flames all day and all night”; or as unsettling as ‘Babel’ where “there are voices everywhere, singing, crying and no one listens”; or as humorously surreal as ‘Gravitas’ where “each arm takes centuries to rise”. The next three-part poem is a narrative focused on the life of a girl who seems to live in a corridor of glass and is defined by her elusive image in multiple reflections. Characteristically in these poems, the protagonists attain a mysterious status such as ‘The Daughter of the Sun’ in her lonely tower. Sometimes they are directly borrowed from myths: of King Arthur in ‘Sion’s Seat’; of characters from the Welsh medieval tales: ‘Gronw Pebyr’ and ‘Branwen’ in ‘From the Mabinogion’.The hauntings are mostly in modern guise: ‘The House to its Owner’; ‘The Flat Where the Cinema Was’; ‘The House Where the School Was’. A former tenant is evoked through the remnants ofhis uncollected mail. There is a thoughtful series of poems inspired by artwork. The author’s experience of life-drawing informs her eloquent poems about the work of Edgar Degas, the great 19th century painter renowned for his draughtsmanship. ‘Post War’ recounts an anecdote of Wynford Vaughan Thomas who recalls his delight as he came across masterpieces hidden for safety in an Italian monastery at the close of World War Two. The natural world is also vibrantly observed and most often to a purpose, to recall a specific set of human thoughts and emotions. ‘Frost’ is full of precise observation and casts an appropriately chilly spell on the reader. Pre-history is also wonderfully imagined in ‘Prehistoric footprints’ and the ominously eerie nature of a landscape pervades in ‘There are Places in the Downs that Turn you Back’.This is a beautifully thoughtful and wonderfully entertaining collection of verse.

Author Biography

Catherine Fisher was born and lives in Newport, Wales. She graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in English and a fascination for myth and history. She has worked in education and archaeology and as a lecturer in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan. An acclaimed poet and novelist, Catherine regularly lectures and gives readings to groups of all ages. She leads sessions for teachers and librarians and is an experienced broadcaster and adjudicator. Catherine has won many awards and much critical acclaim for her work. Her poetry has appeared in leading periodicals and anthologies and her volume Immrama won the WAC Young Writers’ Prize. She won the Cardiff International Poetry Competition in 1990. In 2013 Catherine was appointed the inaugural Young Person’s Laureate for Wales.