Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi
An outrageous piece of magic, this horde of galloping insights sprung from the meeting of one of Europe's most alchemical story traditions with the pirate brilliance of Martin Shaw. His rollicking telling of the Parzival legend makes obvious that Shaw is a master tale-slinger, but he's also a superb fisherman in the depths of our collective soul, reeling in wisdom that instructs, often disturbs and hugely nourishes.
He is on familiar terms with the language of magpies and the weaving techniques of spiders; whatever creaturely shape he takes, it’s clear that he’s drunk deep from rivers winding through many of the world’s tangled cultures. Hence his tongue is steeped in tales within tales from traditions near and far. Reading this book we feel ourselves drying our boots 'round a crackling fire burning high in the mountains. The snow has finally stopped falling, lights from a village glimmer way off below, and someone’s antlers are scraping the underside of the moon.
David Abram, author off Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous
Martin Shaw has hung around a great deal in the Otherworld. There is woodsmoke and fox fur in his thinking, and a wild mix of courage, stories and troubling ideas - Snowy Tower is a kind of outlaw language.
Robert Bly, author of Iron John
Martin Shaw's gift is his unsurpassed ability to bring myth and legend past locked gates and into our hearts. Snowy Tower reveals all the glory and terror of the human condition, showing us the deeper story of our own lives.
Jacob Needleman, author of An Unknown World: Notes on the Meaning of the Earth
Martin Shaw's a conjurer, a 13th century troubadour dropped into our midst. Snowy Tower animates a tale from a far-off place and far-off time into vibrant, immediate life. He breathes into his characters a beating pulse, agile speech, and bedazzling wit. Catch him anyway you can.
Eric Utne, Founder, Utne Reader
In Snowy Tower Martin Shaw gives us Parzival handled with an associative alacrity that yields new insight and a deeper connection to the story's cultural roots. Beyond the best thinking of individuals, here we find the best thinking of whole cultures. Shaw is a writer in love with the oral tradition. This is a rare voice opening a keen rapport with the wisdom of living myth.
Daniel Deardorff, author of The Other Within
About the Author
Coleman Barks is a renowned poet and the bestselling author of The Essential Rumi. He was prominently featured in both of Bill Moyers's PBS television series on poetry, "The Language of Life and Fooling with Words." He taught English and poetry at the University of Georgia for thirty years, and he now focuses on writing, readings, and performances.