Multi-talented writer, musician and filmmaker Richard Skelton will publish an extraordinary book-length poem with independent publisher Penned in the Margins in 2021.
Stranger in the Mask of a Deer conjures an elemental, dreamlike narrative set in the Late-Upper Palaeolithic, as the British peninsula was gradually reoccupied by humans (and animals) returning from the greater continent after the Ice Age. Skelton began the poem many years ago with the intention of exploring the history of Britain’s landscape, only for the text to transform into a kind of literary séance involving both human and other-than-human.
Editor Tom Chivers said: “I’ve been a fan of Richard’s music and writing for years, and am thrilled to be publishing this brave, original and important text. Conceived as a book-length poem, Stranger in the Mask of a Deer pulls you in right from the start, leading you on an immersive journey into the deep past. As timely as it is ancient, with its themes of environmental change and posthumanism, it’s like nothing I’ve read before.”
Richard Skelton said: “I’ve admired Penned in the Margins for some time — their aesthetic, their diverse array of authors, their risk-taking commitment to writing on the edges. I’m therefore delighted that they will be publishing Stranger in the Mask of a Deer. I’ve been working towards this book for quite some time. It feels like the culmination of all my key interests: landscape, deep history, mythology, and the other-than-human.”
Stranger in the Mask of a Deer will be published on the summer solstice 2021.
Richard Skelton is a writer, musician and publisher from Lancashire in northern England. His work is deeply focused on landscape and our relationship with the natural world. Between 2005 and 2011 he ran the acclaimed Sustain-Release private press, publishing beautifully packaged albums of music under a variety of pseudonyms. His albums include Marking Time (2008), Verse of Birds (2012), Towards a Frontier (2017), and Border Ballads (2019). His books include Landings (2009), Limnology (2012), Beyond the Fell Wall (2015) and Dark Hollow Dark (2019). His novella The Look Away was longlisted for the 2019 Portico Prize. For the past decade he has run Corbel Stone Press, one of the foremost UK small presses dedicated to landscape and nature, with the Canadian poet Autumn Richardson. He also runs the Centre for Alterity Studies.