Songs of the Darkness brings together a selection of poems for Christmas written over a period of more than thirty years. They are notable for their combination of a close focus and breadth, and for the way in which the seasonal is celebrated alongside the challenges of history and the beauty of the natural world. topographically the poems range from a Romanian convent to a Devon beach to an alpine cablecar. The finely drawn illustrations by Erica Sail, the writer's daughter, add their own note of precision and detail. Taken together with the poems, they help to create a perspective in which the darkness of winter really does yield up its music. All royalties from sales of Songs of the Darkness will be given to Trusts for African Schools, a registered charity which acts as a conduit for money raised in the UK to be sent out to some of the poorest schools in Africa. More information, and details of the ten individual schools currently supported by the Trusts, eight in Kenya, and one each in Uganda and Ethiopia, are available on the website www.trustsforafricanschools.org.