Astarology explores folklore, mythology and magic, including the magic of everyday things. Mark Valentine finds poetry in the reports sent by rain gauge readers to an Edwardian survey, and in the advertisements of 1940s fortune-tellers; in tending a fire and in following the course of a brook. He also celebrates eccentric lives and ideas. This is modernist poetry that is willing to engage with the elemental and the eerie, the curious and the uncanny.
Mark Valentine sees clouds, trees, and the printed page with a clearer eye than most of us, and in his poems unexpected wonders come to dance.– Henry Wessells, author of The Private Life of Books
Mark Valentine has the uncanny knack – honed from years as a short-story writer – of painting vivid and memorable miniatures. Astarology sees his skills sharpened to a razor’s edge, with images of astonishing particularity and detail. He lays out his specimens of the strange and unusual, the poignant and absurd, with the calm assurance of a museum curator who has treasures a-plenty in store.– Richard Skelton, author of Limnology and The Look Away, co-editor, Reliquiae