a chatter of choughs


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A Chatter of Choughs first published in 2001, is an anthology of poems and essays gathered to honour the endangered sea bird, the Cornish chough. In Old English mythology, the soul of King Arthur is said to have flown into the body of a chough at the moment of his death, thus the bird preserved the spirit of the king, and was revered by mankind and other birds.

Today this rare bird's distinctive red legs and beak, piercing cry and mythic association have given it cult status in Cornwall.

The project was initiated by English Professor Lucy Newlyn at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University. Originally published by Signal Press, a second edition was published by The Hypatia Trust in 2005. This new edition included further contributions from celebrated academics such as Reggie Alton,  Rex Warner, Grevel Lindhop, Tom Paulin, Andrew McNeillie, Bernard O’Donoghue, Bruce Mitchell, Terry Jones and Kevin Crossley-Holland.










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