Bracken, an Anthology from the first five Issues.
‘What is your connection to the woods? For me, it’s mud-caked wellington boots after long walks through the English countryside, the earth damp and wormy and stamped with leaves, littered with plump chestnuts. It’s hushed journeys into Floridian woods, heart racing at the thought of alligator eyes watching from still, green water, everything painted with the dusty finish of sunlight filtered through Spanish moss. It’s the thick mist and springy moss of the Pacific Northwest, and towering cedars and firs stained black with lightning, and the whisper of crow wings above. And, of course, it’s the Brothers Grimm and Fantastic Mr. Fox, Mirkwood and Brocéliande…There’s a reason storytelling has long found inspiration in the woods, whether as symbol or as setting. The forest can be a place of profound beauty or terror, a place of sustenance or danger, a place to find solitude or to become hopelessly lost, a place of magic and dark corners where the imagination can run wild. It’s the stories that arise from this convergence of the deeply personal and the universal that Bracken seeks to harvest. From the beginning, we’ve collected pieces that not only capture the magic and beauty of nature, but also explore encounters with those hidden spaces inside and outside us, those unknowable things that wink at us and shapeshift in the dark—encounters with both pain and wonderment and the journey between. In putting this anthology together, we’ve wanted to take you on such a journey. We’ve selected and arranged work from past issues in a way that we think truly embodies Bracken’s spirit. Just as the girl on our cover is emerging from the tangle of branches into the light, we want to let these pieces guide you from the forest’s edge, through its depths, and out the other side. We hope you’ll find something along the way.’
Charlotte d’Huart – Anthology Editor
Published by Ghost River Images, Tuscon, Arizona.