A Hut at the Edge of the Village
By: John Moriarty
The new collection from John Moriarty, edited by Martin Shaw.
There is a radical agency in John Moriarty’s work not always acknowledged. As our heads spin with mythological cross-referencing, poetical leaps and the philosophical bent, it is clear that there is nothing domestic, nothing tame, about John Moriarty. The power of Moriarty is that he has found a thousand beautiful ways to say something very disturbing: we have to change our lives.
In this small book of big thoughts, award-winning author, mythologist and storyteller Martin Shaw situates Moriarty’s work with respect to our eco-conscious era and a readership seeking spiritual and philosophical guidance. Moriarty asks of us only one thing – that we move our gaze from seeing to beholding. And there the trouble begins, when we realize there is a world beyond us far bigger than our temporary ambitions.
A Hut at the Edge of the Village presents a collection of Moriarty’s writings ordered thematically, with sections ranging from place, love and wildness through to voyaging, ceremony and the legitimacy of sorrow. These carefully chosen extracts are supported by an introduction by Martin Shaw and foreword by Tommy Tiernan, a long-time admirer of Moriarty’s work.
According to Shaw, ‘These are not pastoral times we are living in, but prophetic. We are at a moment when the world as we understand it has been turned upside down. The challenge is that there are fewer and fewer people who can interpret such happenings in a deep, soulful way. Moriarty can do that. When culture is in woeful crisis, the insights never come from parliament, senate, or committee; they come from the hut at the edge of the village. Let’s go there. There is tremendous, unexpected hope waiting.’
‘The greatest Irish thinker you’ve never read? It could be this man.’– Joe Humphreys, The Irish Times
‘To have someone like Martin Shaw act as a guide through the safari of John’s imagination is a great blessing … We are lucky to have him emerging into our consciousness right now, still writing, still probing, still gifted.’–Tommy Tiernan
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Moriarty (1938–2007) was born in Kerry and taught English literature at the University of Manitoba in Canada for six years before returning to Ireland in 1971. His books include Dreamtime (1994); the trilogy Turtle Was Gone a Long Time (1996, 1997 and 1998); Nostos, An Autobiography (2001); Invoking Ireland (2005); Night Journey to Buddh Gaia (2006); What the Curlew Said: Nostos Continued (2007); Serious Sounds (2007); and One Evening in Eden (2007), a boxed CD collection of his talks, stories and poetry.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Dr Martin Shaw is an award-winning author, mythologist and storyteller. Currently Reader in Poetics at Dartington Arts School, he founded both the Oral Tradition and Mythic Life courses at Stanford University. His collection of Celtic stories and poems with Tony Hoagland Cinderbiter: Celtic Poems, was published in 2020 by Graywolf Press. Shaw’s most recent books include Courting the Wild Twin (2020), The Night Wages (2019) and Wolf Milk (2019).