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Soul Feast | Bloodaxe Books
neil-astley-pamela-robertson-pearce-soul-feast

Neil Astley

& Pamela Robertson-Pearce

Soul Feast

nourishing poems of hope & light: a companion anthology to Soul Food

Neil Astley

Publication Date : 21 Mar 2024

ISBN: 9781780377063

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

Soul Feast is a companion anthology to Soul Food, offering up a further feast of thoughtful poems to stir the mind and feed the spirit, bringing hope and light in dark, uncertain times.

This book’s inspiration – Soul Food – achieved its wide popularity by word of mouth. For many thousands of readers feeling adrift in the early years of the 21st century, the poems in that book offered support and sustenance. What followed has been even more destructive and disorientating: wars, pandemic, oppression, persecution of peoples and minorities, mass migration, dishonest government, financial meltdown, and looming environmental catastrophe.

There are even more voices of hope and healing, of love and tolerance, kindness and compassion, sanity and solace, to be heard and felt in the poems of Soul Feast. This new compilation shows how poetry can help sustain our search for meaning in times of spiritual starvation. All these poems are universal illuminations of the meaning of life, speaking to readers of all faiths as well as to seekers and non-believers.

Drawn from many traditions, Soul Feast includes work by poets ranging from Lal Ded and Tukaram to Pessoa, Borges, Cummings and Langston Hughes, as well as poems by celebrated contemporary poets such as Ellen Bass, Imtiaz Dharker, Jane Hirshfield and Naomi Shihab Nye. This is a book to keep by the bedside or to keep with you when travelling.

‘In the end, the proof of a Soul Feast has to be in the eating, and I’ve got to admit that, even for an old cynic like me, the whole experience of sitting down and partaking was actually, well… ‘nourishing’.' – Stuart Henson, London Grip

'As a long-time fan of Soul Food, I’m looking forward to reading the newly released companion anthology, Soul Feast, edited by Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson-Pearce. These anthologies set out to nourish the reader’s mind through thought-provoking and insightful poems that bring clarity and light in dark times.' – Will Mackie, New & Recent Poetry from the North, Spring 2024

Reviews of Soul Food:

'These poems illuminate the path of life.' – Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times

'These are poems for the human race at all times, be they celebratory or reflective.' – Margaret Speak, Yorkshire Post

'These poems will reconnect you with happiness, kindness, beauty and joy. They will teach you how to be here, now, fully aware and alive... Buy this book! You will be investing in happiness for days - and even dark lonely nights - to come.' – Anne Ashworth, Universalist: The Journal of the Quaker Universalist Group

'A friend gave me a copy of Soul Food as a gift... I thought it was so good that I gave it away to another friend within a matter of days, and bought myself a new copy, which I also gave away... I continue to buy copies for friends... I have read this book through from beginning to end a number of times now, and each time I am left with my spirit uplifted and a wondrous sense of warm joy in my soul. Not only is each poem fine, but reading the whole collection reads feels like the privilege of sharing another human's spiritual journey for a while.' – Henry Morgan, The Merton Journal

'Soul Food is an extremely attractive book. Of all the books lying about my house, more visitors have been drawn to wanting to borrow this than any other... It contains work by many of my favourite poets, but more importantly it whets my appetite with new discoveries... I recommend buying copies to keep and give away.' – Chris Kinsey, Envoi

‘Soul Food, like another Bloodaxe anthology, Do Not Go Gentle: poems for funerals, captures the elusive overlapping oval in the Venn diagram of poetry-that-is-serious and poetry-that-breaks-your-heart.’ – Martin Wroe, Church Times

'Three books that come immediately to mind as gifts are the Soul Food anthology, edited by Neil Astley and Pamela Robertson[-Pearce], because it contains such a diversity of works for an exploring mind to consider; A S J Tessimond's Collected Poems - poetry that wants to fly, strains upward hopefully, but always is anchored in dark reality; and Mary Oliver's Thirst.' – Ruth Baxendale, Poetry News (Christmas Books 2018)
 

Seven poems from Soul Feast read by the poets

Seven poems from Soul Feast are read here by the poets: Imtiaz Dharker: ‘Living Space’; Arundhathi Subramaniam: ‘Prayer’; Kerry Hardie: ‘Flesh’; Jane Hirshfield: ‘The Envoy’; Naomi Shihab Nye: ‘The Art of Disappearing’; Imtiaz Dharker: ‘How to Cut a Pomegranate’; Tomas Tranströmer: ‘Tracks’ (‘Spår’), translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton. The poets were filmed in London, Mumbai, Galway and Stockholm, and on Achill Island, by the editors of Soul Feast, © Neil Astley & Pamela Robertson-Pearce 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2024.

Launch reading by Jane Hirshfield & Maria Stepanova with Sasha Dugdale – plus Soul Feast

Jane Hirshfield, Maria Stepanova and Maria's translator Sasha Dugdale celebrated the publication of their new poetry books at this online reading for Bloodaxe Books on 19 March 2024. They read live and discussed their work with each other and with the host, Bloodaxe editor Neil Astley. The event also included readings of poems from Soul Feast, which features four of Jane Hirshfield’s poems as well as Sasha Dugdale’s translation of a poem by Elena Shvarts. Scroll to 1:00:26 to view this sequence only.

 

Ireland & EU: Click here to order from Books Upstairs in Dublin

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Neil Astley

Being Alive

Neil Astley

Being Alive

the sequel to Staying Alive

Publication Date : 28 Oct 2004

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Being Human

Neil Astley

Being Human

the companion anthology to Staying Alive and Being Alive

Publication Date : 30 Mar 2011

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Biting My Tongue

Neil Astley

Biting My Tongue

Publication Date : 30 Sep 1995

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Do Not Go Gentle

Neil Astley

Do Not Go Gentle

Poems for Funerals

Publication Date : 25 Sep 2003

Read More   amazon.co.uk

RELATED BOOKS

The Heavy Bear Who Goes with Me
Staying Alive
Soul Food
Staying Human

Related News & Publicity

News & Publicity


Soul Feast anthology interviews in Beshara & on Books for Breakfast

Soul Feast anthology interviews in Beshara & on Books for Breakfast

Interviews with Neil Astley in Beshara Magazine & on Ireland's Books for Breakfast podcast about Soul Feast (co-edited with Pamela Robertson-Pearce); review in London...

Read More  |  View All

Poetry Events


Launch events for Soul Feast

Launch events for Soul Feast

Joint online launch with Bloodaxe now on YouTube.

Read More  |  View All

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