Publication: September 2019
List Price: £12.00
Format: ~ Paperback - 110 pages
Size: 14 x 21.6 cm
Tags: walking arts, environment, poetry, somatics, systems thinking
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ebook ISBN: 978-1-911193-56-2
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The book starts with an essay on KInship inspired by Donna Haraway's ideas about how we must make relationships of kin with all things, including what she refers to as ‘critters’. In it, Alyson explores the twin ideas of embodied reading and embodied walking. How, exactly, can we embody the ideas in a book? Here, the author "dives into kinship with the decomposed bodies of plankton, plants and animals whose liquidation created that beautiful, black viscous gold we call oil".
In the title essay, Stone Talks, Alyson revisits the keynote lecture she gave at the ‘In Other Tongues’ symposium at Dartington. In it she explores her lived experience of being talked to and guided in her life by stones. She examines the ideas of obedience and yielding, the body as a wilderness, and unfolds a walked artwork with stones that she undertook soon after her father died.
In Haunted Landscapes, Alyson explores the marks and traces of our own and others' lives that inhabit our bodies and experience. Wandering into quantum physics, she asks questions that "set me afloat on a fathomless sea".
Finally, in The Stone Monologues, Alyson embarks on a quest to "understand myself not as a single thing, a single point, but rather a constellation, a layered interruption in time comprising everyone and everything I encounter".
Alyson Hallett has received Arts Council awards for her work. She is a Hawthornden Fellow, works part-time for the Royal Literary Fund and loves collaborating with other artists and scientists. She has a doctorate in poetry with research into geographical intimacy. In Stone Talks, she shares some of what she is learning from stones. She talks “from the mud. From the earth. From the place we haunt and are haunted by.” The talking is exquisite.
Stone Talks is for anyone interested in rediscovering their relationship with the land, rocks, their bodies and the other 'critters' that we share the world with... through poetry, dreaming, walking and the embodied imagination. It is for anyone interested in the politics of place, language, poetry, spirituality, relationships with the land. It is also for anyone who has ever felt an affinity with stones, pebbles and rocks.
REVIEWED in Northern Earth magazine:
"Alyson Hallett is a poet, writer and educator. This, her most recent book, is an exposition on the subject of how we interact and communicate with our environment. Holding as she does, a Ph.D. in Poetry and Geographical Intimacy, her evaluation of geography is not as a way of assessing place and its associated material manifestations by scientific measurement and analysis, but by consultation with the sensations arising from her unconscious mind in response to place and substances such as stone. She uses poetry as a tool to show the link between matter and mind and to expose the misunderstanding most of us have about the mind / matter relationship."
Reviewed in Northern Earth, Issue 159, 2019. Visit Northern Earth magazine