In the disembodied world of small press publishing, there is a fresh, subversive, forward-looking retro-hip beauty and audacity to Menda City Review that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. The photos by Nils-Erik Larson featured in the current issue capture this spirit – a magnificent old man reading the paper through the glass, his eyes fiercely alive. I’m honored to have my story included with the startling, resonant pieces in Issue 31.
Perhaps because I’ve just returned from the Hebrides in Scotland, there’s something of Menda City Review that reminds me of the Ardalanish Farm and Weaving Mill on the Isle of Mull, population 2,667. The mill is housed in a rustic stone building, and the wool is spun from the black Hebridean sheep, once endangered, that graze the hills surrounding the farm. The whole enterprise operates off the grid, power generated from wind and the memory, or dreaming, of sun. During the waulking of the cloth in times past, runes were chanted and songs were sung, and traces of similar wool have been found in ancient Island burial chambers.
So here’s to the eyes-wide-open, radically brave small folk, the weavers of wool and the spinners of yarn(s).
Read “The Day the Linden Fell” here.