Let Me Take You by the Hand

posted in: Uncategorized 0

“Apart from being a fascinating snapshot of London in the 21st century, it’s a valuable social commentary.” –Terry Waite

In 1861, the great journalist and social advocate Henry Mayhew published London Labour and the London Poor, an oral history of those living and working on the streets of Victorian London. Nothing on this scale had been attempted before.

On the surface, the streets of London in 1861 and in 2019 are entirely different places. But dig just a little and the similarities are striking and, in many cases, shocking. Taking Mayhew’s book as inspiration, Jennifer Kavanagh explores the changes and continuities by collecting and mapping stories from today’s London.

Beggars, street entertainers, stalls selling a variety of food, clothes, second-hand goods, thieves and the sex trade are all still predominant. The rise of the gig economy has brought a multitude of drivers and cyclists, delivering and moving goods, transporting meals and people, all organized through smart phones but using the same streets as Mayhew’s informants. The precarity faced by this new workforce would also be familiar to the street-sellers of Mayhew’s day. In terms of resources, gone are the workhouses, almshouses, paupers’ lunatic asylums. Enter shelters, day centres, hostels, and food banks.

Let Me Take You By The Hand is an x-ray of life on the streets today: the stories in their own words of those who work and live in our capital.

Published in the UK & Commonwealth by Little Brown, £16.99. It will be available in paperback and in the US in 2022

Beyond the Water Meadows

posted in: Uncategorized 0

Maggie Allder returns with a new novel set in the future where the new normal may not be all it seems…

Daisy lives happily in a care home with twelve other children, sheltered from a dangerous world of sickness and war. As everything finally returns to normal, she and her friends begin to explore the city beyond the Water Meadows where she has grown up. But while there are exciting new experiences, there are also people who are quick to take advantage of naive teenagers, to exploit them for their own financial gain. They are both cunning and ruthless, and it isn’t long before Daisy and her friends find themselves threatened by them.

Not only that, there is something mysterious about Daisy’s friend, Sophie, a comparatively recent arrival to the care home. Why will she never speak about her time before she arrived at Xunzi House? Why, when everyone else seems to be spreading their wings and enjoying their new freedoms, does Sophie seem to withdraw more and more? And why does she seem to be afraid of the world out beyond the Water Meadows? Is she, perhaps, right to be fearful – and if so, what does that mean for Daisy and her friends? For years the world has been a dangerous place, but at last the country is getting back to normal – or is it?

“This book explores issues which are of particular interest to Quakers at present, and probably to a number of other faith groups too,” Winchester resident, Maggie says. “In this novel the teenagers explore some of the ordinary business of growing up. They make new friends, they meet people who are very different from their carers, and who are guided by beliefs that are new to Daisy and her friends. It is a story with a happy ending, which nevertheless does not fudge the issues with which it deals.”

We’re all wondering what life will be like when we reach the other side of the pandemic. Will it be better than before, as we’ll all appreciate the little things more? Will it be longer than we anticipated? What will it be like? In Beyond the Water Meadows, her alternative reality set in 2040, Maggie Allder gives voice to real issues affecting everyone, and in particular Quakers, in a highly original tale.

Publication Date: 28th March 2021
ISBN: 9781800462465 Price: £9.99

Our Child of the Stars

posted in: Uncategorized 0

“It’s a wonderfully emotional, heart-warming journey of what it really means to be a parent” –The Los Angeles Times

In this magical, bewitching debut, Molly and Gene Myers’ marriage is on the brink of collapse. Then a child arrives, with a remarkable appearance. Will he bring them together, or tear their whole world apart?

Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.

This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.

Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town – and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.

And soon the whole world will be looking for him.

Cory’s arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.

Passion and partings

posted in: Uncategorized 0

The dying sayings of early Quakers

Right from the start, ‘the people called Quakers’ recorded each other’s ‘dying sayings’. This book tells how, happening upon some of these by accident, a 21st century Friend learned of their speakers’ passion for equality and truth.

Originally published at a time when religious dissent was fiercely discouraged, the accounts presented here give inspiration to anyone working for justice and peace in today’s world.

An adult educator by profession, Jane Mace has a persistent curiosity in the to and fro of speech and writing.

Publisher: Quacks Books, info@quacks.info
ISBN number 978-1-912728-26-8

“There is much more to this book than the substantial extracts from the lives and dying sayings of twenty-four early Friends and the illuminating and scholarly discussion of these texts. It also maps a personal journey which Jane Mace invites us to take with her.” –Chris Skidmore

“This is an extraordinary little book that defies classification, enabling us to look into Quaker social history from a new angle. To my mind, the best of the book is when the author links those earlier Friends to us today, helping us to see our spiritiual forebears in new and unexpected ways.” –Judith Roads

Jane Mace is also author of God and Decision Making: A Quaker Approach from Quaker Books (2012)

On Quakers and Pastors

posted in: Uncategorized 0

For three centuries, members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) have regularly met to worship in extended times of silence, punctuated by vocal testimony. Anyone can share. This practice reflects the Quaker rejection of hierarchy and the belief that God can speak through any person, regardless of gender, race, or class.

But in the late nineteenth century, revivalism swept through America, and some Quaker meetings began to hire pastors to preach and teach for the benefit of new members—a practice that spread rapidly. Today many Friends meetings have pastors, and in those congregations, the sermon has largely replaced or severely limited traditional Quaker worship.

These changes have not been without controversy. There are those who feel that a professionalized clergy is incompatible with the ethos of historic Quakerism. On the other hand, there are some who believe that the pastoral system saved American Quakerism.
In this study, Derek Brown identifies patterns in Friends churches that have embraced a pastoral system, and he demonstrates how a Christ-centered Quaker pastoral theology might strengthen a church’s Quaker heritage while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of its pastoral leadership.

As Friends seek to adapt to the needs of twenty-first-century America, they must enter into an ecclesiological conversation with their past practice, their present context, and their current condition. Consider this book a framework and guide for those discussions—the beginning of a journey.


Available from Barclay Press: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/On-Quakers-and-Pastors.html

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Quakers-Pastors-Derek-Brown/dp/1594980624/ref=sr_1_1

Resisting Empire

posted in: Uncategorized 0

The Book of Revelation as Resistance

Revelation speaks to the reality that we are caught in the fray of cosmic conflict. We are guilty. We’ve already been contaminated. But it’s not too late for us to exit empire and enter the kingdom. We are yet both victim and victimizer. We have healing work to do, and we must take responsibility for the ways in which we have benefited from and been complicit with the religion of empire. This is the truth of Revelation. God wants to liberate us in body, heart, soul, and mind.

  • Revelation reveals how scapegoating functions within empire to define its own boundaries and contours as being over and against wicked others.
  • Revelation critiques wealth and shows that even in the first century there was prophetic critique against an economic system that was based on abundance for some, while exploiting the rest.
  • Revelation demonstrates the importance of liturgy as something that forms people into the likeness of either empire or the lamb.
  • Revelation reveals an alternative social order which becomes the center of resistance rooted in a vision of what the book describes as “the multitude.”

The book of Revelation, according to C. Wess Daniels, is a resistance text for “Angelic Trouble-makers,” who must learn how to remix, understand how scapegoating functions, recognize the shaping and forming powers of liturgy, and discover the composition of the multitude…. I pastor a people who have historically been pushed to the periphery of all existence, even ontologically declared as non-human or three-fifths human. Therefore, to read the “multitude is a beautiful tapestry woven together of all humanity, with those who were lynched, those who were oppressed and victimized, at the center with the lamb. This centering of the victims and marginalized is something that is too often missed within western, white, middle-class Christianity today,” makes my soul happy. This prophetic claim of Daniels places Black people at the heart of God.
–Rev. Darryl Aaron

No other book has been as consistently and wildly misread as has John of Patmos’s visionary narrative. And yet, at the same time, no biblical book carries as much passionate power and imagery aimed at inspiring Jesus-followers to “come out” of the place of imperial violence and domination and to dwell instead in the light- and love-filled realm of God. C. Wess Daniels masterfully and clearly lays out a series of reading strategies and perspectives culled from the best of recent scholarship to invite readers into engagement with John’s vision. If you’ve been drawn to study Revelation but have been stymied as to where or how to start, you can trust Wess’s step-by-step guidance to lead you into the depth and breadth of this unique narrative.
–Wes Howard-Brook


Available from Barclay Press: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/Resisting-Empire.html

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Resisting-Empire-Book-Revelation-Resistance-ebook/dp/B07PYY7WYJ

I Was Raised in a House of Water

posted in: Uncategorized 0

to the water signs who made me
to the loves & lovers who’ve held me
to every version of my self I am trying to love 

this is how I feel the world

I was raised in a house of water is a gentle rainfall of words, each verse the soft whisper of an old friend, sharing their most patient observations, deepest longings, and wisest insights.

yes, I am here in this world 

Read these poems. Inhale each line. Find hope in the space between.

hold space for an eternal moment
may we see one another
may we see ourselves


juniper gives me the courage to jump off the dock or in love or into my voice. Again. I was raised in a house of water wonders at what it means to be alive in this curious world – with and despite the darkness.
Zenaida Peterson, FEM Slam

These poems draw back the curtain of the known world. They enter the territories of walkabouts and the songlines of pain, grief, and rising. They ask the question: “What is it to witness a soul?” Brimming with confused and hard love, magic, rebirth, and a changing sense of what is true, you will walk with juniper in the slow strangle of losing her voice and the flood of coming back to herself. It is a wild place she takes us, and it is filled with love for the world she lives in.
Peg Edera, author of Love Is Deeper Than Distance

juniper finds openings to the cosmos in the humble and mundane. A rocking chair, a spider, a bell pepper – juniper sees them all as a spell for connection, healing, grieving, and a slow, rumbling transformation. juniper’s language sounds the rooted, pulsing low notes as well as the shimmering highs, inviting the reader to pass through the looking glass into the magical moment of just right here, just right now.
Angelica Brown

juniper’s words are a gift – so fresh from the heart you can still feel them faintly beating. juniper holds their own life in tender, outstretched hands, and invites us to join them in the sweet, aching journey.
Kateri BoucherGeez Magazine

These poems shake with tears of pain and shimmer with tears of joy.
Carole Spencer, author of Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism

I was raised in a house of water is a gentle rainfall of words, each verse the soft whisper of an old friend, sharing their most patient observations, deepest longings, and wisest insights. “Yes, I am here in this world.” I read these poems, inhaling each line as I travel; truly a space in between. “Hold space for an eternal moment,” juniper writes, and I can’t help but sense a deep wisdom in their words, connecting disparate places, times, and stories. “May we see one another. May we see ourselves.” Wherever you find yourself on your journey, juniper invites you to go deeper, to listen, and to trust.
C. Wess Daniels, author of A Convergent Model of Renewal

Poems that touch more deeply, soothe more gently, and challenge more aggressively. juniper is one of the best in the Northwest because she is willing, not only to look within herself, but also to exist.
Julian Phillip Doumit, Little Comfort

juniper sings a song of experience – the sanctification and romance of life: “To shift is to be alive.” Their words, drenched in the devastation of being, help us hold on to hope.
Hye Sung, Friendly Fire Collective

juniper klatt has more than succeeded in writing their life as a poem in this stunning collection. The naturalness of the work is easy like a comfy sweater, and as juniper removes one layer after another, they make it safe to approach hard truths and beautiful stories. At the end, juniper seems to stand naked before us, and you can do nothing else but join them.
M Jahntz

Beautiful words shared from a beautiful heart always.
Amy Kopsa

juniper expresses the beauty and challenge of our times. She speaks of love, loss, and cookie-baking. But the poem that best captures the joy of being a human being, and the one I’d most like to hear her read out loud, begins, “I forgot how to pray with the structured words of my teachers and preachers and remembered how to dance with the colors and moans and songs of my ancestors.” juniper invites us to make magic. And to dance.
Stephen Deatherage

Aw well! She knows how to touch my soul to my toes. She’s got a knack for articulating that connection oh so lovely. It’s her gift for sure.
Lori Williams

juniper’s ability to gather together the pieces of the world – her curation of the sensory and emotional – makes me pause. To wonder and wonder.
Damon Motz-Storey

We sat across from each other at a table many years ago. juniper looked like any other beautiful young woman just coming into her own. The next day, her time came to stand at the microphone, and as she began her heart performance, the depth and strength – the wisdom and power that came as she transformed into her poem – stunned me. I will never forget. juniper is a gift, for she can speak deeply what so many of us feel. I am grateful for her presence in the world.
Lori Bosteder


Available from Fernwood Press: http://www.fernwoodpress.com/2019/03/06/i-was-raised-in-a-house-of-water/

Available from Barclay Press: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/I-was-raised-in-a-house-of-water.html

What Is Justice?

posted in: Uncategorized 0

A Personal Exploration

Denham’s internal exploration, aided by poetry and letters and images, offers us a portrait of one man’s attempt to practice revolutionary love in response to murder. Wrestling with grief over the killing of a boy he loved as a son, Denham confronts his own impulses to condemn the ones who murdered him. With the courage to perform “open-heart surgery” on himself, Denham returns again and again to restorative justice as the only way forward. A solemn read, a quiet contemplation, a hopeful longing, What Is Justice? is a respite for anyone committed to labors of love and justice.


Wrestling with grief over the killing of a boy he loved as a son, Denham confronts his own impulses to condemn the ones who murdered him. With the courage to perform “open-heart surgery” on himself, Denham returns again and again to restorative justice as the only way forward. A solemn read, a quiet contemplation, a hopeful longing, What Is Justice? is a respite for anyone committed to labors of love and justice.

Valarie Kaur, Founder of the Revolutionary Love Project

There is a murder; there is a pending “execution.” There are victims and there are perpetrators. Into the midst of these deep contradictions, Bill Denham plunges with his honest, searing, hope-filled poetry. He dares to imagine that we are all bound together in this human crisis as one. We are not “over-against”; we are rather “with” and “belonging to.” That solidarity evokes compassion that presses toward restorative justice and away from revenge. Denham sees that it “falls to me” to do justice. Indeed, it “falls to me” and you and you and you. Those who enter Denham’s world of poetic imagination may be called to care in transformative ways. It is his hope. Indeed, it is our hope!

Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

What does it mean to love our enemies? I know of no better answer in our time than the care Bill Denham shows the men who killed his stepson. With vulnerability and courage, he uses a poet’s ear and a prophet’s eye to redefine justice. His story moved me deeply.

Bruce Murphy, retired as President at Northwestern College, a former Pastor at La Jolla Presbyterian Church and Bethany Presbyterian Church

Bill Denham has given us a gift in a few short pages. As he shares his experience of losing someone he loves to violent death, he invites us to accompany him as he searches his own heart and enters as he can into another’s experience. The insights he gathers into his poetry, prose, and the quotations he incorporates challenge us to do the hard work of subverting the systems that numb us by learning compassion for the other.

Becky Ankeny, Ph.D., Recorded minister in Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends

After the 2008 gang-related murder of his stepson, Bill Denham embarked on ten years of deep and profoundly revealing self-examination. This book is a compelling account of the results of that questioning. Here, in both prose and poems, Denham voices an impassioned plea for replacing our retributive justice system with restorative justice. Avowing that true justice “must come from an honest and humble place,” he bears wise and eloquent witness to “the excruciatingly hard work of forgiveness and reconciliation.”

Paulann Petersen, Oregon Poet Laureate Emerita


Available from Fernwood Press: http://www.fernwoodpress.com/2019/04/01/what-is-justice/

Available from Barclay Press: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/What-Is-Justice.html

Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs

posted in: Uncategorized 0

A gentle wind blows through Paul Jolly’s poems, uncovering the gaps in our knowledge, our presumptions and assumptions, the spaces in which humor, creativity, and magic are born. The stories seem familiar, but the wind-blown words, unjumbled by Jolly, no longer say exactly what they’re supposed to. Alice escapes from a pack of Disney scouts. Over-inflated cows float over a squadron of slugs. Ice cream trucks play Christmas songs.

It is a collection that rebels against reality. Each poem performs a sleight-of-hand replacement of the objective and concrete with imagination and dream. What if? How come? Why not?

Read these poems. Read them carefully. Take your time. Inhale, exhale, and think. Why Ice Cream Trucks Play Christmas Songs is a work of art, and it is a gift.

“Delightful, essential, full of renewed wisdom and old magic, of the natural elements that sustain body and spirit. Paul Jolly’s poems are to be savored time and again, like the ice cream in trucks that play Christmas songs. Bravo! Encore!”
Lucha Corpi, author of Eulogy for a Brown Angel and Confessions of a Book Burner

“Paul Jolly’s consonance crackles but is seldom gnarled. His poems are funny but never cruel. Like Kay Ryan, he sees the universe in little things. Jolly’s tenderness is understated, his language unrestrained.”
Flossie LewisBrief but Spectacular (PBS)

“To read these poems is to enter a richly imagined world; brightened by dry touches of humor, parody, and wit. The poems are very much of the present day, both in language and in outlook. Though deeply felt, they contain nothing sentimental, let alone anything maudlin.”
Marie Borroff, Sterling Professor of English, Emeritus, Yale University

“Drawing upon a metaphoric area that hops nimbly from nursery rhymes to the spiritual lives of goats, from family history to the history of the zero, these poems surprise and delight. Jolly’s light touch and humorous outtakes remind us that language in poetry is an adult thinker’s playground.”
Johnna Schmidt, Director of Jimènez-Porter Writers’ House, University of Maryland

“I spent a first afternoon of immersion in this wonderful collection of poems, smiling with occasional outbursts of delighted laughter at the poet’s flights of fancy: Humpty Dumpty paired with Icarus, a Grandmother whose saliva does futile battle with her grandson’s cowlick, farmers who carbonate cows to get ‘bubble milk,’ a factotum who does the dirty work for God during the six days of creation. Throughout, zany humor and vigorous imagination construct send-ups that are not without compassion and insight. There is import here I cannot explain, but only nod, knowingly.”
Catharine Lucas, poet and professor of English, Emerita, San Francisco State University


Available from Fernwood Press: http://www.fernwoodpress.com/2018/11/26/why-ice-cream-trucks-play-christmas-songs/

Available from Barclay Press: http://www.barclaypressbookstore.com/why-ice-cream-trucks-play-christmas-songs.html

1 2 3 4 6