Poets, Ghosts & Fairy Tales Make For A Busy Week

TELEGONOS: The new Tragic Drama is ready to ship.


Happy ReleaseThis week, we’ve added THREE classic stories.

We are invited to a mystical trek In the Woods by the mysterious writer Amyas Northcote. With the encroachment of modernity, an old priest works to soothe the dead in Gertrude Atherton’s The Dead and the Countess.

The delightful classic, The Three Heads in the Well, comes from the collection, English Fairy Tales, by folklorist Joseph Jacobs.


This week, we’ve published five poems by as many poets.

Joshua Alan Sturgill: Anagogy

Benjamin Rozonoyer: Whitesun

Linda Lobmeyer: Acedia

Mark Mosely: Apostasy

Phillip Neal Tippin: The Pilgrimage, Part 36

Telegonos: Now Available

Telegonos-coverTelegonos: A Tragedy in Verse by Jonathan Golding

The new Five-Act Drama is now available for purchase.

When Telegonos, the son of Odysseus and the goddess Circe, sets out to seek his father’s land, disaster strikes and the wanderers are shipwrecked on a mysterious island. As dreams and omens gather around him, Telegonos must make the most harrowing decision of his young life. Told in poetic form, Telegonos offers a vision of the world of classical myth with allegorical overtones.

Read an interview with the author.

Speaking with Jonathan Golding

Inklings Festival: Registration and Schedule Now Available

Jonathan Golding is a poet, dramatist and essayist. Darkly Bright Press is pleased to publish the upcoming book:  Telegonos: A Tragedy in Verse. The book will be available for purchase on Monday, August 9, 2021. This week, we offer a short conversation with its author.

Please tell us about your history and motives for becoming involved with drama. Which writers most influence you?

Telegonos-coverI was very involved in theater during my college years, both acting and directing. I was fortunate enough to work with many immensely talented people, including David Flaten at the University of La Verne and the late Georgij Paro, the head of the National Art Theater in Zagreb. There are many things that a performance can convey with immediacy that a text may not. However, I think Telegonos works both as a poetic text and a theatrical piece that could be mounted and performed.

Continue Reading


Open by Joshua Alan Sturgill

Phillip Neal Tippin: The Pilgrimage: Part 34

Praise Him with Clashing Symbols by Jesse K. Butler

Machen & The Inklings: Lecture Abstracts Now Available


It keeps getting better…

The upcoming Inklings Festival, held by Eighth Day Institute, will feature two keynote speakers.

Richard Rohlin is a software developer, Germanic philologist, and Orthodox Christian living in Texas with his wife and children. His published works on Germanic poetry, the Inklings, and the Sacramental Imagination include The Digital Hervararkviða and a chapter in the recent anthology Amid Weeping There is Joy: Orthodox Perspectives on Tolkien’s Fantastic Realm. He is the co-host of the Amon Sul Podcast from Ancient Faith Radio, which examines the works of J.R.R. Tolkien from an Orthodox Christian perspective. He is also a regular contributor to The Symbolic World YouTube channel and blog, where he discusses and writes about medieval universal history and hagiography. Richard’s latest project, Finding the Golden Key: Essays Towards a Recovery of the Sacramental Imagination, is being published in collaboration with Eighth Day Press and is still accepting abstracts through December 31, 2021: www.findingthegoldenkey.com.

Abstracts for the four main lectures are now available below:

Richard Rohlin

To the Chapel of the Grail:
Arthur Machen and Celtic Sacramental Imagination

Arthur Machen and other scholars of his time intuited that the Grail Legend contained within it a memory of a lost Celtic liturgy, one of both older apostolic origin and of a more authentically British character than the Tridentine Mass. In Machen’s work, and in particular in his short story “Levavi Oculos,” he uses the Grail Legend as a means of navigating difficult questions of the relationship between place and sacrament, and the authenticity of imported spiritual traditions. Tracing the origins of the Grail Legend from its diverse Celtic, Iberian, and Levantine origins, I will suggest that the Machen successfully resolves the question of “what has Wales to do with Jerusalem” in the persons and relics of the saints.

A Single Sacred Wafer:
Chrétien’s Mystagogical Grail

Their focus on the “Celtic” nature of the Grail Legend caused Machen, Waite, and others to largely reject the portrayal of the Grail legend found in continental sources beginning with Chrétien de Troyes. In this lecture, I will suggest that Machen et. al. were correct in their intuition about a liturgical origin for the Grail Legend, but that Chrétien was also aware of it, and in fact incorporated the shape of an ancient Christian liturgy into the structure of his Perceval ou le Conte du Graal.

Christopher Tompkins

Dreamt in Fire:
The Dreadful Ecstasy of Arthur Machen

The classic works of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien offer modern readers a fantastic redoubt for traditional values, first principals and sacramental reality in an age of ever-increasing madness. Alongside these titans, the intrepid reader can discover lesser-known, but resonant voices speaking in unison. A lonely pathfinder, Arthur Machen articulated an iconically-rich theory concerning the sacramental imperative of literature to function as a source of ecstasy for man. Far from being simply an abstract set of notions, Machen realized his ideas on hieroglyphics throughout a long career of writing fiction which shifted between noetic horror and the transfiguring glory of holy fear. Haunting, poetic, and sometimes confounding, each tale is a confrontation with the unseen, a lifting of the veil which serves to reorient man’s understanding of the cosmos from the merely material to the profoundly spiritual. By an examination of his life and work, “Dreamt in Fire” will endeavor to introduce new readers to a singular perichoretic vision as found in the dreadful ecstasy of Arthur Machen.

Of Sacraments and Ghosts:
A Few Comments on Christianity and the Horror Genre

Is there any utility in the horror genre for the Christian? Setting aside the gory and nihilistic examples of the current day, this talk will highlight the unexamined aspects of an often misunderstood and misused mode of storytelling. Excellent horror begins where the believer begins: we are transcendent. It must present an ontological crisis for the characters, and to a lesser extent, the reader. The lecture will then examine the use of traditional folkloric entities in role of counterfeits, or Antichrists, before exploring the work of Christian horror writers of note. This latter topic includes the formidable ghost story tradition as practiced by M. R. James. Furthermore, the themes of “priest as hero,” and the use of the Sacraments as a force against darkness, excellently articulated by Ralph Adams Cram and the brothers A. C. & R. H. Benson, will also be studied. Horror is closer than we thinkit can be glimpsed or felt in the unsafe worlds of fairy tales, Middle Earth and even Narnia. Beyond merely serving as a warning to the curious, these aspects and tropes of the genre may assist us in navigating a world greater than the sum of our physical senses.

The dates for the events are October 22-24, 2021. The complete schedule and registration will soon be available at the Eighth Day Institute website.

20th Century Reality War

Inklings Festival: October 22-24, 2021


md30598993938Published in the Evening News, The Bowman, a tale of heavenly assistance to beleaguered British troops, was a brief bit of inspired fancy which lit the public imagination. To Machen’s chagrin, he received letters from members of the public, including clergymen, concerning the fantastic event. Receiving only denial and incredulity after he reported that the tale was nothing but a fantasy born from his head, the situation quickly metastasized into the Angel of Mons controversy.


On Leaving Two Spaces After A Sentence by Joshua Alan Sturgill

The Pilgrimage: Part 32 by Phillip Neal Tippin

Neath a canvas starry by Benjamin Rozonoyer

Corrected Dates for Inkling Festival


The dates have been rescheduled for the upcoming Inklings Festival, held by the Eighth Day Institute in Wichita, Kansas. The event will be held October 22-24, 2021. Apologies for the confusion. For anyone who enjoys storytelling, camaraderie and cwrw dda (good beer), this is the weekend to make a pilgrimage to the center… to the heart of America.

As I announced a couple of months ago, I’ve been invited to give a lecture on Arthur Machen at this year’s event. The talk will serve as an introduction to the enigmatic writer with an emphasis upon his theory of ecstasy in literature and his quiet influence on later authors. In particular, I’m excited to present a wealth of rare material which includes limited editions of his books, ephemera and items from Machen’s personal collection. Most importantly, this will be an opportunity to encounter unpublished letters between Machen and Dorothy L. Sayers, as well as a discussion between Machen and publisher Victor Gollancz concerning the work of Charles Williams.


Defer by Joshua Alan Sturgill

The Pilgrimage: Part 31 by Phillip Neal Tippin

Untitled (The scaling foot) by Benjamin Rozonoyer