by Martin Newell
“And Shuck, the Hound of Odin
The black dog of the fens
Who pads across the shadows of the years
Will spring out on the traveller
With burning ember eyes
To haunt the ancient roads where he appears”
“As big as a calf, with eyes like burning coals, he pads silently beside the traveller on lonely country roads. Always keeping pace, he never drops back but simply seems to melt away. In some parts of the region, they believe that if you see old Shuck, then you or someone in your family will die. But best not to see him.”
Martin Newell’s epic poem, illustrated by James Dodds, is about the sinister ghostly dog which is said to have haunted East Anglia since viking times. For hundreds of years Black Shuck, who is associated with death, has stalked the fens, coastlands and churchyards of eastern England. This book is an attempt to follow in the phantom dog’s tracks through the half-forgotten villages and lanes of North Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk and to capture some of the dark mystery of this largely unsung part of Great Britain.
Martin Newell is the most regularly published poet in England, with three poems appearing every week in the pages of “The Independent”. He performs on radio and TV and has worked internationally both as poet and pop musician. This is his sixth book.
James Dodds is an artist whose work has been moulded by the East Anglian coast, ships and nautical folklore. His paintings and prints are exhibited and collected internationally. Black Shuck is his second collaboration with Martin Newell.
Jardine Press 2016
36 pages, hardback
120mm x 120mm