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A Spell in The Woods – Stella Wulf


Publication date: 4th February 2021

216mm x 140mm, 36pp

Full colour:  images, and poems

ISBN 978-1-911048- 50-3

price includes p&p



Stella Wulf’s A Spell in the Woods contains powerful, compelling poems of natural observation: of seeing and listening to the world around us and recreating their second life in language.
David Morley

In A Spell in the Woods, Stella Wulf shows herself to be a worthy successor to Ted Hughes, Mary Oliver and Andrew Young. As a  pictorial artist we might not be surprised that she has such a clear-eyed focus upon the natural world, but what an ear she has as well! These are poems that need to be read aloud, and repeatedly, to savour their intricate harmonies. Seemingly timeless, they are all too urgently contemporary in a world we are polluting with ‘the silt of entitlement, a flood of insouciance.’
David Cooke

This is a beautiful collection which takes readers off-track to observe a natural world flushed with life and movement. Fairy tale politics and folklore bring complexity to the poems and a fresh perspective much needed, particularly in respect of female narratives… The poems in this collection are accompanied by exquisite line drawings in pen and ink with just a smudge of colour. The illustrations are heavy on black contrast and make limited use of white space to ensure the finest of detail. This fusion of word and picture gives the wild a rare accessibility and also fires reader’s senses at multiple levels.

London Grip, Rachael Smart. Read full review here


Stella Wulf on A Spell in the Woods:

Wales was my home for almost 40 years and despite an absence of 20 years, I’m still moved to write about it. If there is an air of nostalgia about Wales Sings, it’s because it’s still very much in my heart. Here at the foot of the Pyrenees in South West France where I live, the ever changing landscape is a constant stimulus for both painting and writing. Spending the Day is a celebration of those elements that continue to delight me. This book is the product of a combined love of writing, and drawing and painting. I am both Claire Jefferson the artist and Stella Wulf the poet (if you’ll forgive me for giving myself titles). I have pulled my two selves and my two lives together to bring this little book of nature to life.

The first poem and illustration in the pamphlet:


After night’s fall when the bruised day dies,
we are unfaithful sleep, minds uncloseted,
skeletons through which the wind sighs.

I am the shoulder on which the night cries,
the furrowed brow, a breast pearled in moonlight.
After night’s fall when the bruised day dies,

voles tremble, mice quake, owl’s fancy flies,
moon slick as cream robes the limbs of trees,
skeletons through which the wind sighs.

I am the realm that never sleeps, tapetum of eyes,
bristle of whisker, whiff of musk, the dank bite,
after night’s fall, when the bruised day dies.

I am the burning holes in a pocket of sky,
a bolt—a halt—the lightning strike on asphalt,
skeletons through which the wind sighs.

We are the foxtrot, moonwalk, shadow-dance prize,
cradles of flesh and bone rocked by chance,
after night’s fall when the bruised day dies,
skeletons through which the wind sighs.


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