Stone Talks

Stone Talks

4.5 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-9 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Stone Talks brings together poems and four talks/essays by noted poet Alyson Hallett on the subject of stones, rocks, somatics and our relationship with our environment.

The book invites us to listen again to the world around us - the world of rocks and trees and sky and stars and sea that we participate in and that participates in us.

It reawakens a childlike curiosity in us, makes connections that we had forgotten, and gives us permission to experience the world in an embodied and vibrant way that was drummed out of the rest of us long ago.

The book starts with an essay on KInship inspired by Donna Haraway's ideas about how we must make relationships of kin with all things, including what she refers to as `critters'. In it, Alyson explores the twin ideas of embodied reading and embodied walking. How, exactly, can we embody the ideas in a book? Here, the author "dives into kinship with the decomposed bodies of plankton, plants and animals whose liquidation created that beautiful, black viscous gold we call oil".

In the title essay, Stone Talks, Alyson revisits the keynote lecture she gave at the `In Other Tongues' symposium at Dartington. In it she explores her lived experience of being talked to and guided in her life by stones. She examines the ideas of obedience and yielding, the body as a wilderness, and unfolds a walked artwork with stones that she undertook soon after her father died.

In Haunted Landscapes, Alyson explores the marks and traces of our own and others' lives that inhabit our bodies and experience. Wandering into quantum physics, she asks questions that "set me afloat on a fathomless sea".

Finally, in The Stone Monologues, Alyson embarks on a quest to "understand myself not as a single thing, a single point, but rather a constellation, a layered interruption in time comprising everyone and everything I encounter".

Alyson Hallett has received Arts Council awards for her work. She is a Hawthornden Fellow, works part-time for the Royal Literary Fund and loves collaborating with other artists and scientists. She has a doctorate in poetry with research into geographical intimacy. In Stone Talks, she shares some of what she is learning from stones. She talks "from the mud. From the earth. From the place we haunt and are haunted by." The talking is exquisite.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 110 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 10.16mm | 176.9g
  • Bridport, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1911193554
  • 9781911193555
  • 1,746,652

Table of contents

On Kinship

Stone Talks
Chapter 1 - Pebble No Bigger Than My Thumbnail
Chapter 2 - In The Beginning Was The Boulder
Chapter 3 - The Body As A Site Of Intelligence: The Body As A Site of Ignorance
Chapter 4 - A Field, A Stone, A Grief
Chapter 5 - Entering The Vastness
Notes from the Deleted Pile

Haunted Landscapes

The Stone Monologues
show more

Review quote

I will be an avid reader of Stone Talks, and I'll tell my friends to keep an eye out for it. I love the way you travel. Donna Haraway, author, ecofeminist & Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Dept. and Feminist Studies Dept. at the University of California, Santa Cruz; I am SO moved and filled with joy reading your work. I feel as if you're restoring me to my faith, by which I mean faith in listening to feelings, hearing the instinctual voice. You write so simply and beautifully and authentically about your experiences and I admire your trueness of spirit. Paul Harris, Professor of English, LMU, Los Angeles; Oh I love this little book. I love it from beginning to end. It's told with clarity and generosity and it's full of treasures. It moves across my mind like an erratic. From the land of you to the land of me. Lynn Davidson, Poet
show more

About Alyson Hallett

Alyson Hallett grew up in Street, Somerset. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and a practice-based PhD in poetry and geographical intimacy from St Mary's University, Twickenham. She has published more than 14 books: sole-authored collections of poetry, short stories, artists' books, Six Days in Iceland in collaboration with geographer Chris Caseldine and walking limping stumbling falling with walking artist Phil Smith. Her latest book, LZRD: Poems from the Lizard Peninsula, is co-authored with Penelope Shuttle and her recent pamphlet, Toots, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks and Callum Macdonald Memorial Awards. She has written an essay on chalk for Radio 3 and drama and an audio diary for Radio 4.

Collaboration is at the heart of Alyson's work. She has worked with dancers, musicians, visual artists and glass makers and received grants from Arts Council England. Her work with sculptor and letter carver Alec Peever has spanned two decades and includes a poem carved into Milsom Street pavement in Bath, poems carved into boulders on a housing estate in Kew, and the 5 migrating stones that make up the Migrations Habits of Stones international poetry and public art project.

Alyson was the country's first poet to be resident in a university Geography Department with a Leverhulme artist-in-residence award. She has been a poet-in-residence at Charles Causley's house and the Small School, Hartland; writer-in-residence for the Arts Council's Year of the Artist and the Endelienta Trust.

Alyson is a visiting lecturer in poetry at the University of the West of England and on the MA Illustration in Falmouth. She also works part-time for the Royal Literary Fund as a Reading Round Lector. Ongoing collaborative work with movement artist Deborah Black involves an exploration of embodied writing and how the body and the written word come together and inform each other.

Early in her career Alyson attended a summer school run by the performance group Goat Island. This, along with working as a housekeeper for the Iona Community on the Isle of Iona for a year and a half, blew her mind and heart wide open and formed the foundations from which she works and lives. Alyson has also worked as a post woman, bar person, cleaner and mental health worker. She lives in a village near Bath, loves to walk and play piano and is a Hawthornden Fellow.
show more

Rating details

2 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 50% (1)
4 50% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X