Halloween’s oldest roots are in an ancient Irish holiday called Samhain (pronounced sah-win)! Samhain—usually translated “summer’s end”—was in part a harvest festival when Celtic tribes held assemblies, and rulers and warriors conferred and made laws.Continue Reading
Halloween is finally here! While children dress in costume and parents don their houses with spooky decorations, we are paying tribute to John Montague and his eerie poem about the Celtic festival that celebrates the arrival of the “darker half” of the year. The auditory and sensory imagery Montague engages sends shivers down our spine, as we welcome…Continue Reading
Halloween is upon us, but did you know that this beloved holiday is a descendent of the pagan Celtic festival called Samhain? Samhain (pronounced sah-win or sow-in) celebrates the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter, the time of year often associated with darkness and death. The Celts believed that on this night,…Continue Reading
He dances to that music in the wood
As if history were no more than a dream.
Who said the banished gods were gone for good?
Sculpture of Seán Ó Riada in Cúil Aodha, Ireland As we look forward to Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the Harvest season and the beginning of the “darker” winter months, we are quick to draw connections to our Western ideas of Halloween: spooky costumes, creepy decorations, grim horror stories, and a crisp fall…Continue Reading
Few moments are more exciting at the Press than when we are getting started on a new book. This fall, we’ll publish Michael Longley’s tenth collection, The Stairwell, and preparations are well underway. We’ve done a first read, gathered the cover image and copy, and sent files off to the designer. The title of the book comes from the…Continue Reading
Samhain Sing a song for the mistress of the bones the player on the black keys the darker harmonies light jig of shoe buckles on a coffin lid ∞ Harsh glint of the wrecker’s lantern on a jagged cliff across the ceaseless glitter of the spume: a seagull’s creak. The damp-haired…Continue Reading
The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, a painting by John Martin (1789-1854) In the spirit of Halloween we offer Ciaran Carson’s “Demotic Nocturne”, a tantalizing and chilling nighttime adventure that takes the reader on a technicolor journey that “disperses all the boundaries of hearth and home.” “Demotic Nocturne” appears in Carson’s collection In the Light Of, translated from Rimbaud’s Illuminations. Demotic Nocturne (Nocturne vulgaire) A breath…Continue Reading