Tag Archives: Skylight Press

ART Basil King Poetry Prose Writing

History Now is here

Basil King’s new book, History Now, Marsh Hawk Press, 2017, is here.

It is the latest segment in what poet Laurie Duggan is calling King’s epic, Learning to Draw.  Eileen Tabios in her online “poetry engagement” Galetea Ressurects, calls it HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


All five books to date are pictured below.  Another publication, a beautiful chapbook In the Field Where Daffodils Grow was published by Vincent Katz’s Libellum Books, but is not pictured as the text also appears in the large Learning to Draw/A History in the middle of the photo below.  We are grateful to him and to other publishers who issued chapbooks or published segments of this work in their magazines, explicitly Mark Lamoureux, Sanjay Agnihotri, Ed Foster, David Caddy, Dale Smith and Hoa Nguyen, and Peter Ganick.

Order from SPD [www.spdbooks.org] for $15 plus S&H, or, if you must, from Amazon Books, also $15 plus S&H.

Books in Basil King’s epic LEARNING TO DRAW sequence.



Basil King Green Man Martha King News

Our UK Tour – Looking for the Green Man

October 23, 2013, outside Oxford


No visit to the UK without looking for the Green Man. On this day we had the kind assistance of Rebsie Fairholm, the graphic designer for Basil’s publisher, Skylight Press.

From Rebsie’s blog ( http://sulismanoeuvre.blogspot.com/ ) you get a blast of her common sense approach:

  • …the green man is more complicated – and more simple – than modern perception gives him credit for. Usually seen as an incongruous pagan interloper in a Christian setting, either as a symbol of the church’s dominance over old superstitions (if you’re a Christian) or of the enduring survival of natural religion (if you’re a pagan), he is really a universal figure who doesn’t need to be polarized in this way. Reducing him to a “fertility” figure is also doing him a big of a disservice, as he’s more than the face of Beltane bonking. He’s the impulse for growth…

She drove us out to St. Mary Iffley, out in the Oxfordshire countryside, to see a Norman church (somewhat transformed by some later Tudor windows) built about 100 years after the Conquest in 1066, and sheltered by a yew tree, 1500 years old.












Around the arched doorways, some simple chevrons, some with stylized flowers, others with rows of bird creatures some bearing faint faces in their beaks, and twined above them in a freize, the green man, along with an ouroboros, a merman, centaur-like creatures female and male and more.










The structure and its grounds emanated solidity, kindness, accommodation, respect, mystery.

A second church we visited much later that afternoon had the opposite effect on us: hostile, savage, dangerous.  Indeed it was equipped with a cops-watch warning and was tightly locked.



Martha King

Tom Fink and Basil King on Learning to DRAW

Tom Fink had a long conversation with Baz about his book, Learning to Draw, which can be found on Tom Beckett’s excellent blog, ASK/TELL.

Learning to Draw – cover – art by Basil King; design, Rebsie Fairholm

Available on line or inquire at Skylight.

In the meantime, Daniel Staniforth’s blog for Skylight Press generously commented on a previous King book, 77 Beastss: Basil King’s Beastiary,  from Marsh Hawk Press, with these comments.

77 Beasts …is a unique testament by a brilliant visual artist to his relationships — sometimes personal, sometimes intellectual, always artistic, most of the time all three — with our greatest artists whose works he has contemplated and communed with as both draughtsman and painter, and for the last number of years as writer and poet. King’s monumental book is a work that is both art criticism and autobiography, together synthesized into graceful, piercing and gorgeously ephemeral meditations on how art and life are one. King has been known to be a poetic artist. In this book he is a marvelously artistic poet.

77 Beasts – cover art, Basil King; design, Mark Melnick


Also available online or contact Marsh Hawk Press for information