I have a few copies of several publications now hard to find elsewhere. UK postage for a book is generally about £2 for UK postage and £5 abroad.
Issues of Christian are also available for sale, for £1.50 including postage and package. Complete bound sets can also be supplied to libraries, for the price of £100.
Possibly a Pomegranate celebrates womankind. From ancient history to the modern day, women stride through its pages. Sometimes they dazzle us with their humour and creativity – too often overlooked by patriarchal contemporaries. At other times, their fate moves us to tears.
How rare it is to read a collection so full of calm wisdom, of a lifetime’s experiences and investigations marshalled with a clear eye for what matters and a well-honed gift for finding the words and forms to share them. This celebration of women ranges from girlhood memories and the tenderness of parenthood to the intimacies and aggravations of later years, from insight into lives in different cultures to a roll call of remarkable women through the ages in which Pope Joan rubs shoulders with Jane Austen. These are satisfying and enriching poems. Alasdair Paterson, Uncut Poets
An assured exploration of womanhood, with poems as abundant as the fruits in the pomegranate, resonant with love, birth, death, achievement, happiness and heartbreak. Small, unnoticed moments are brought into focus and held still enough to touch. Marriage turns her sympathetic and good humoured gaze on Sappho, Cleopatra, Lot's wife, Heloise, Hildegard, Mother Julian, Grace Darling, Rosa Parkes as well as her own life, creating a rich panoply of women. Maggie Butt, poet and novelist
Review by Pat Edwards in London Grip, September 2022.
Review by Mandy Pannett in Tears in the Fence, October 2022.
Review by Carla Scarano D'Antonio in Write out Loud, November 2022.
Review by Dilys Wood in Artemis, November 2022.
Review by Emma Lee in The Journal, November 2022.
Review by Sue Kindon in The High Window, Spring 2023.
To order a copy, please use the "Contact Alwyn" link.More info →
In this poem, Alwyn Marriage suggests that St Clare (1194-1253) may be a rather more interesting figure than history suggests.
Clare Offreduccio (Chiara) was a normal, healthy and enthusiastic teenager until she was swept off her feet by the dashing young Francis, whom she heard preach with passion. Abandoning her previous life to follow him, she devoted herself to a life of chastity and charity. Images of St Clare in art tend to depict her as an icon of humble obedience and purity, but there may well be more to the story than that.
While not wishing to diminish Clare's genuine piety and good works at all, this story suggests that Clare's obvious love of St Francis was more full-blooded and passionate than the official stories have suggested, and that ending up in a convent was not quite what Clare had in mind.More info →
Pandora’s Pandemic is a vivid and personal account of Covid-19 in real time, in poems written actually as it happened. When Covid-19 swept across the world, it took everyone by surprise. Debilitating illness, unprecedented lockdowns and tragic deaths soon followed. And then the questions arose – how long would the devastation last and would anyone survive? Alwyn Marriage contracted Covid-19 early in the pandemic and that is where this moving collection starts.
In these vivid poems, Alwyn tracks the course of her own illness and recovery, the death of her brother and the gradual dawning of new hope. Above all, she asks what we have learnt from this pandemic, and whether the world will ever be the same again. This means that, unusually for a poetry book, because it tells the story of Covid-19, you can read Pandora’s Pandemic like a novel, not knowing what the next twist will be. This is poetry that grips you, may make you cry, but will also warm your heart. One reader wrote: The poems are wonderful. You have captured our universal experience of the pandemic, rather as the young war poets did ... It's a huge achievement.
For more information on Pandora's Pandemic, endorsements and unsolicited responses, click on the image of the book cover.
There is an interview with Greg Freeman about Pandora's Pandemic in Write out Loud, July 2021
Review by Sue Wallace-Shaddad in London Grip, November 2021.
.More info →
In 1628, the English physician and anatomist, William Harvey, discovered the circulation of the blood. This short story explores whether this great leap in medical knowledge might also be seen as a metaphor for something even more surprising.
William Harvey Esq was at his desk when God sidled in. Ungreeted, indeed unnoticed, God cleared the dirty coffee cups from the table, tidied up the tobacco pouch and ink - well, then set about laying a fire in the hearth. Still William Harvey’s head was bent in concentration over his papers: God is, after all, very easily missed. It was Spring 1629 ....More info →
Set in a future in which medical science has eliminated almost all life-threatening illnesses, one woman races to escape a Government that is responding to the resulting population explosion with deadly methods. Will she find safety and a new way of living? Will she find love?
The Elder Race is not afraid to confront such difficult issues as over-population, dementia, self-sacrifice and euthanasia, all set within a heart-warming story of escape, survival and hope.
For more information on The Elder Race, endorsements and unsolicited responses, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
This collection of poems brings to life women who, though they lived centuries ago, shared many of the hopes, thoughts and emotions that we experience today. A variety of formal and free verse styles of poetry is used to celebrate the love, courage and occasional defiance of real women. The book was published on 20 April 2017 by Indigo Dreams and was launched in Bergen in June 2017 at an international conference about the lives and writings of mediaeval women. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
Rapeseed follows the story of Samantha, a bright young academic, investigating the psychology of the children of rape. However, Sam has a secret, and flashbacks throughout the novel explore how this affected her upbringing. With a serial rapist on the loose and Sam's own search for her father becoming more desperate, her personal and professional lives begin to overlap. Various new contacts enter Sam's life as her doubts about her work and her detective efforts increase, until she eventually finds herself in horrifying danger. Does anyone love her enough to save her from herself? ‘Rapeseed’ was shortlisted in the Cinnamon Novel Award, 2011.
An admirer of Alwyn Marriage’s poetry, I was very interested to go to the launch of her novel, Rapeseed, in York. It was clear from her presentation and reading that the book was meticulously researched and beautifully written.
The novel concerns Sam, a young woman researcher into the children resulting from rape and whether they might share certain characteristics. From the outset we learn that Sam also has a personal interest in the subject as her own mother was raped and she herself falls into the category of the ‘rapeseed’ of the title. Her mother never discussed this with her and the narrative, which becomes increasingly tense and gripping, is interspersed with diary entries from childhood onwards in which Sam expresses a desire to find her father.
The personal (and there is a very well-written sub plot of a long-running love affair which contrasts beautifully with the ugliness and violence of rape) becomes inseparable from the academic and the researcher keeps her own family history a secret from her professor as well as from the governor of Wandsworth Prison where she is given access to files, including that of her own father.
Without wishing to give away the plot, I found myself caught up in the narrative and anxious for the main character who puts herself in real danger when she finally puts the personal before the academic and secretly arranges to meet her mother’s rapist in a lonely spot.
I can highly recommend this book which is a real page-turner and also an intelligent investigation into rape and its wide-ranging consequences. The characterisation and dialogue are superb and the reader’s interest is captured and sustained by a fast-moving narrative. Carole Bromley
Poems from throughout the year, but with a special emphasis on Christmas and winter.
Though unquestioningly devout, she's refreshingly unorthodox, irreverent, forthright.
R V Bailey
Excellent and engaging poems. William OxleyMore info →
A collection of poems, arranged in five sections: Energy; Other lives; On being a woman; Open air; and the Christmas story.
Six months after this book was published, Alwyn was invited to take over as Managing Editor of Oversteps. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
Alwyn Marriage presents a vision of the Church as the priesthood of all believers, and argues that unless we take seriously the doctrine that all Christians are called to be priests, there is little future for the Church. She demonstrates how this inclusive vision was the basis of the Old Testament concept of God's chosen people, was restored through Jesus' calling of the first disciples and the mission of the early Church, and has been a recurring theme through reform movements ever since. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →
For a while this anthology was Collins’ best-selling book, and I still get requests for copies. Unfortunately I have none left, and the opportunity for a re-print was lost during the series of publishing takeovers in the 1990s.
Copies are now like gold-dust, so if you have one that you don’t want, please let me know, so that I can pass it on to someone who does.
Published by Collins (now HarperCollins).
Review by Thelma Laycock in the Leeds-based poetry magazine Aireings, no 22:
Refreshingly this anthology bursts upon the British poetry scene which seems to suffer from a dearth of Christian writing. Alwyn Marriage draws her collection together from two hundred poems chosen from eight and a half thousand received after publicising the anthology to churches and magazines worldwide.
New Christian Poetry is not a denominational ‘churchy’ collection. The editor presents the poetry in its widest sense, dividing it into eleven sections: The Natural World, Place, People, World Issues, Art, The Bible, Times and Festivals, Experience of God, On Being a Christian, Praise and Prayer, Bread and Wine, thus expressing that Christians are not apart from the world but are very much thrown into the turmoil of it.
Memorable among the poems for me is Jean Naylor’s ‘Contemplation’ (Experience of God) with its Hopkinsian imagery:
“I saw Him in the crushed crimson’s dawn appearing …
He comes riding
Stallion-drawn, whirl-wheeled, fleet
Sword-buckling King, re-armed in glory
I fall, love adoring at his feet.”
Presenting a contrast to that is Rosie Watson’s ‘Red Nose Day’ (World Issues) with its comic irony:
“Would God wear a nose for such a cause
Christ the Clown
our fool for God’s sake
the only one
to wear a nose on red nose day
for the sake of Ethiopia
Yes, and much more.”
Catherine Fisher closes the section on Art with her universal poem, ‘Judas’, in which the poet sees:
“… a roundel here of Christ in Hell,
embracing a man waist-deep in fiery glass
whose medieval face turns up as if in shock …
Perhaps it is something in the kiss that makes me
wonder, if they meant it to be you.”
The poems in this collection have a very high standard and much could be said about the individual poems. I can only recommend that people buy it and read it. It is a good resource for worship and for teaching as well as for personal reflection. It is excellent and have not come across anything quite like it. I am glad to have this anthology on my bookshelves; it has presence.
More info →
This is an exploration of the femininity implicit in much of the language and imagery that has traditionally been used to describe the Holy Spirit. Resisting any attempt to down-grade the Holy Spirit, who is as much God as the other two members of the Trinity, I argued in this book that only if we take seriously both the femininity of the Spirit AND the centrality of that Spirit in our understanding of God can we fully appreciate the wholeness and holiness of God in Trinity. For more information, click on the image of the book cover.More info →