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Announcing the forthcoming publication of ARCHIPELAGO Issue Three, available in late February / early March 2009

The third issue of ARCHIPELAGO embarks on rough seas in a troubled world. It does so once again in the spirit of Herman Melville’s character Ishmael, who shipped aboard the doomed Pequod, metaphor for America and the western enterprise. Ishmael called his whaling voyage ‘a sort of brief interlude and solo between more extensive performances’ : namely a presidential election and a ‘Bloody Battle in Afghanistan’. So it is for ARCHIPELAGO. Our voyage is a brief interlude, a cry in the wilderness, across the waste of waters, in the wake of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the luxury yacht Climate Change. Undaunted we offer celebratory interactions with landscape and nature, history and remembrance, by both writers and visual artists, including: Norman Ackroyd, Niamh Clancy, Tim Dee, Ivor Gurney (represented by five hitherto unpublished works), Michael Longley, Peter McDonald, Robert Macfarlane, Osip Mandelshtam, John Montague, Les Murray, David Nash, Bernard O’Donoghue, Heather O’Donoghue, Patrick Parrinder.

‘Praise God for Poetry – it is a good thing and fills up spaces in landscape and life with human interest and memory,’ wrote Ivor Gurney. Praise what or whomsoever you will. Ishmael speaks of ‘the great flood-gates of the wonder-world’. This issue’s ‘wonder-world’ reaches from Shetland in the Northern Hemisphere as far as the Southern Seas, to the biggest island of them all, as figured in the work of Les Murray. Once again the defiant lyric voice is heard in our pages, and it speaks volumes more than its proportions suggest, like the wren or the Shetland blackbird, as described in Tim Dee’s brilliant midnight rhapsody ‘Darkless Night’.

At more than 114 pages this third ARCHIPELAGO remains the best of bargains: £10.00 (including p&p for UK and Ireland), plus £5.00 p&p (rest of the world).

The Editor: Andrew McNeillie,   3 February 2009

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