Chapbook Series 2021:
Dai Fry - Under Photon Crowns
We're privileged to publish Under Photon Crowns (available on Amazon) by Welsh poet, Dai Fry. This is our first chapbook by an individual author and was launched on 21.2.21. Read the testimonies below, in praise of this stunning work and check it out on Amazon.
“There is such depth to Dai Fry’s Under Photon Crowns, every line absolutely steeped in the elemental. Its language coats us in fire and ice, wind and water from endless pools of truth. These pieces dive straight into the cold earth. They soar into space. They tuck us into bed on the longest of nights. More than anything, they chase an urgent understanding of what it means to be truly human in this universe.”
Prof. Jack Bedell, author of Color All Maps New. Poet Laureate of Louisiana, 2017-2019.
“I can spend many hours travelling the lines of Dai Fry's poetry. He is a poet unafraid to look in the dark corners of here and beyond but ultimately offers light. Dai is a craftsman; each word is carefully chosen and cast upon his 'wild green waters' of place, self and worlds beyond our knowing.”
Lynn Valentine, winner of the Cinnamon Press Literature Manuscript prize 2020.
“The poems and autobiographical prose pieces in Dai Fry’s Under Photon Crowns are (to use his own words) ‘deep swimmers’, roaming freely ‘under their own light’ through space and time, science and mysticism, myth and memory, sounding the depths of the heart and mind.”
Dr. Laura Wainwright, author of New Territories in Modernism: Anglophone Welsh Writing, 1930-1949.
“From the shadows of the underlands to 'the burnt stars' of the heavens, Dai Fry takes us through darkness to rise 'blue-white against stormed sky' in these courageous poems, coupled with soulful prose.”
Ness Owen, author of Mamiath (Mother-Tongue).
“In a journey that encapsulates unfiltered adventure, whimsy, and emotion, Fry's Under Photon Crowns illuminates the invisible tether that ties humans together. His writing, while soaring to the cosmos, is ingrained in the human experience and the earth, and this, combined with Fry's writing in multiple genres, allows his work to transcend purpose and audience; it's simultaneously personal and universal, and it's beautifully composed while doing so.”
Preston Smith, author of Red Rover, Red Lover.
In the long earth, a spirit
breaks soil, casts a shadow
Under Majorelle skies. In these
windy daisy lands, I dance alone.
Sky larks sing to dry grass nests.
Their hymn, bright song, my muse.
Russet and green leaves applaud,
crown shakes in rapturous dance.
For the tree that moves,
remains a tree at heart.
Deep Go Our Roots
An age progressed.
Not years of rock
but by a measure of forest,
beard of the earth.
This temperate land
rooted deep in seasons.
Summer burnt, wind-whipped,
showered by rain.
Under sun and sister stars,
far-sighted leaf crown.
In a forest tangle,
the green man holds court.
below this weathered sky.
“Fry’s language glimmers. From the tiniest cellular light source to unimaginably vast pulsar, these works glow in the dark – inked in ion-trace and sea-spray, spirit-wisp and snowgleam, starshine and strobe, with firework flash and the bioluminescence of lambent decay. And beyond, always the floating torch-sparks of very old stories – those trails we follow unaware. Distinctly, we hear the scrape of seen and unseen worlds moving past each other, and are invited to take on this writer’s ability to slip effortlessly between them, grown from his roots in the story-rich soil of a Tycoch childhood. We are a summoned spirit, shadowing him out of our own place and time, simultaneously grounded and haunted by his evocative prose. Fry grows from ‘circus boy’ to ‘comet watcher’, both bard and seer – his child’s gift of speaking in tongues is vibrantly alive in these pages, and what answers from within us is limbic, ancient, realising there is a kind of understanding well beyond the rational to be found in these ‘blurred glimpses of a wondrous infinity’.”
Ankh Spice – Poetry Contributing Editor, Barren Magazine
“Under Photon Crowns is a journey embedded deep in the concept of discovery. The speakers in this collection invoke the wonder of childhood, evoke the surprise of unearthing old and new, and elevate the mundane to something more akin to the sacred. The personal essays are structurally diaphanous, jumping from delight-to-delight, and the poetry is hewn like precious gems. ‘The Astronauts of Tycoch, 1963’ calls to mind Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Rocket’ as the vignette lives in that same tangible place of the first imaginative pulses that propel us into belief. Each vignette offers a dazzling sensory porthole into a ruminative wonderland.”
Kari Flickinger - author of The Gull and the Bell Tower
“There is a kind of crisp and dark earthiness to the language here; the concision deceptively simple, the imagery and aural play complex and arresting... this collection packs a punch before the reader is perhaps even aware. A worthy first offering and one that fulfills Pound's vision of imagism but in its own way makes poetry over anew.”
Dr. Erin Russell, subeditor at Pank and winner of the CutBank Patricia Goedicke Prize for Poetry and the Able Muse Write Prize for Fiction.
“Reading Under Photon Crowns is to briefly become an antenna to the metaphysical and mystical forces that sing from the heart of the universe. Here is the poet as sage and mage; and as the always curious human stretching his hand in hope to the source of the Divine. Dai is a shapeshifting poet: He twines elemental and spiritual forces into lines that sear and glitter. Read his lines and understand, for a heartbeat, the texture of energy, the colour of spirit.”
Polly Oliver, Pushcart Prize-nominated writer.