Introducing Author Marc Woodward!

Forthcoming in spring 2022.

Marc Woodward is an Anglo/American poet and musician living in the rural English West Country. His writing reflects his green surroundings, often with a dark undercurrent and a hint of wry humour. Sea Crow Press is delighted to be publishing his new collection, Shaking the Persimmon Tree, in spring 2022. Marc wrote this collection from the wild and sunny hills of Abruzzo in central Italy, as well as reporting from his usual territory in the bucolic English West Country. The poems range from environmental concern (‘the right-****ing-now of climate change’), to the Covid pandemic, police badgers (!), escaped lovers and archeological road trips – as well as facing up to some of the darkest shadows which stalk us all. 

In his own words:

I’m delighted to announce my new collection Shaking The Persimmon Tree will be published by Sea Crow Press and I’m thrilled to join the growing family of this new, exciting, publisher based on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod holds a special place in my heart – back in 2015 I came over to the Cape to teach mandolin at a weekend ‘camp’ in East Sandwich. After the weekend was over I rented a cabin on Gull Pond near Wellfleet and holed up there to concentrate on writing. My chapbook A Fright of Jays had come out earlier that year and I was putting together work that was eventually published in 2018 as Hide Songs – including a sequence of poems written on the Cape. 

I went at dawn to Newcomb Hollow,

a war reporter for Breaking Light,

to see the last gasp darkness swallowed 

down the gullet of a mackerel sky.. 

I was spied by periscoping seals

peep holing through the barbed edge ocean,

commanding waves to raid and steal 

in constant pillaging incursions

(Excerpt from The Battle of Newcomb Hollow – Hide Songs pub. by Green Bottle Press, 2018)

When I was there it was early October, the summer crowds had left and the Cape had the distinct feeling of the party being over. And that’s fine with me, I’m not good with crowds. I prefer to visit a beach at dawn, a quiet gallery or a bookshop relaxing into its own dust. Somewhere I picked up a copy of Walden by Thoreau, it could’ve been that secondhand bookshop attached to an Oyster bar overlooking an empty lot and windy curl of beach (surely that’s a combination you’d find nowhere else but on Cape Cod?) – but the book was new so I think it came from the little bookstore in Provincetown. I’d driven up there to go out whale watching:

Motoring out under a yawning Cape sky,

we pass three lighthouses on yellow dunes

into the oculus of air and ocean.

Shearwaters run upon the sea then rise,

tripping upwards from their light fantastic 

as we scan for humpback, minke and fin.

(Excerpt from The Light at Cape Cod – The Tin Lodes, pub. by Indigo Dreams 2020).

Thoreau seemed appropriate reading while living in a cabin on a lake – even if only for a few days! The following week I was booked to play a gig upstate and on my way from Boston I drove through Concord, Thoreau’s home town. I didn’t stop though. Maybe next time. 

Whether I get out to the Cape again remains to be seen – my memories from that time are recorded in verse – but it feels special to be reminded of my visit by working with Sea Crow Press. 

It would be remiss of me if I didn’t end this post with some lines from the forthcoming book which focuses on my homeland of England and Italy where I’m fortunate enough to spend occasional periods. 

This is a one-sentence sonnet designed to leave the reader slightly breathless and flustered – perhaps like the Cape on a crowded summer’s day!

Lovers in the Elephant Grass 

Sunlight stripes us through the wavering stalks 

as we lie breathless and high, listening 

to the frantic insistence of skylarks, 

feeling our hearts recover, pulses slow,

numb to all of time but this one moment, 

wild within the elephant grass raffia,

its thin shadow grid moving across us, 

so if we half close our eyes we flicker

like the final frames of an old film show 

about jailbreak runaways who outwit 

the hounds and strip off in a southern field, 

shedding more arrows than eager Cupid, 

only to find their malnourished bodies 

tattooed with a sweet and biblical crime.

***

Marc Woodward has been published internationally in a wide range of journals, anthologies, and online sites. He was writer-in-residence at The Wellstone Center in Santa Cruz, CA. in 2018 and shortlisted for that year’s Bridport Prize; won the 2019 Keats’ Footsteps Prize, and was commended for the 2020 Acumen Poetry Prize and the 2020 Aesthetica Creative Writing Award.

His previous collections include A Fright of Jays (Maquette Press, 2015), Hide Songs (Green Bottle Press, 2018), and The Tin Lodes written in collaboration with well-known poet and professor Andy Brown (Indigo Dreams 2020).

Orleans Street Names

Every street name has its story!

Who remembers the original name of Tonset Road Extension? It was Stone Crusher Road because the machine used to crush stones for road construction had been located there.


Beriah Doane of East Orleans had a spring where people would often go to get fresh water; it was commonly known as “Beriah’s spring.” That’s how Briar Spring Road got its name! This information was imparted to me by the late realtor Tod Rattle.


Uncle Harvey’s Way honors Harvey Sparrow, who served in the War of 1812. He and his wife, Betsey, are interred in the Orleans Cemetery. 

A street scene in Orleans on Cape Cod. Photo by John Phelan


Captain Linnell Road was named for Captain Ebenezer Harding Linnell, who built and lived in the mansion formerly occupied by the Captain Linnell House restaurant near Skaket Beach. There is a monument to Captain Linnell in the cemetery, but his body was claimed by the sea on an ill-fated voyage. 


Aunt Polly’s Way commemorates Mary White Talbot, fondly known as Aunt Polly. She was the sister of Sara White Johnstone, who operated the outdoor Greenwood Theatre with her husband, William Bard Johnstone. The Johnstones and Whites were instrumental in founding the Church of the Holy Spirit on Monument Road, not far from where they lived.


Winslow Drive recalls the Winslow family, who owned a large amount of property in South Orleans. They were the owners of United Shoe Machinery in Boston.


In the Weeset section of Tonset is Sage’s Way, which honors Albert Snow, a local historian who was nicknamed the Sage of Weeset.


Eldredge Park Way reflects the name of the adjacent ball field. When the Orleans town nurse had her office in the elementary school, the first listing under “Town of Orleans” in the phone book was “Nurse Eldredge Park Way.”

Mail addressed to the Town at “Nurse Eldredge Park Way” would occasionally arrive at Town Hall! I suppose the writers must have wondered who the heroic Nurse Eldredge had been!


Every street name has its story!

Read more stories about Cape Cod in Mary McDermott’s book Old Orleans: Memories of a Cape Cod Town from Sea Crow Press.

Mary E. McDermott is a 13th-generation Cape Codder living in Orleans. She worked for 17 years in the Orleans Assessor’s Office and 23 years as a commercial insurance broker at Pike Insurance Agency. She has been a justice of the peace to solemnize marriages since 1976 and has previously published two books of poetry, Tapestry and Handle with Care. Her poems have appeared in several publications including the Christian Science Monitor.

What was life like on Old Cape Cod?

Even as a child, I knew Orleans was unique.

Sea Crow Press author Mary E. McDermott reminisces about life in her beloved home town Orleans. Her new book, Old Orleans: Memories of a Cape Cod Town, preserves stories of local life in simpler times.

Even as a child, I knew Orleans was unique.

Almost across the street from my home was a private residence which had originally been the town almshouse; it is now the site of the police station. Back then, the fire and police departments shared quarters on Main Street. The fire whistle was tested daily at noon. When it blew for a fire, the number of short and long blasts indicated the area of town where the fire was located. Nearly every household had a card, sponsored by Ellis’ Market, which explained the different codes; when the whistle sounded, the card was eagerly consulted!

Freight trains still ran through town, and it was a treat to go to Depot Square (now part of Old Colony Way) and watch the train come in.

Summer held additional treats: each year, the American Legion sponsored a carnival for a week. The carnivals traveled from town to town and were the delight of all the kids and many adults as well. 

A glimpse inside Old Orleans

Another seasonal treat was to go to Philbrick’s Snack Shack at Nauset Beach for fried clams or scallops and their incomparable onion rings. Dessert might be an ice cream cone from Pal’s or Howard Johnson’s (nobody called it HoJo’s then).

Orleans was home to some interesting individuals. I remember Mrs Carter, who had a sort of boutique on Main Street and always went barefoot. In my mind’s eye is a picture of her crossing the street, wearing a beautiful blue dress, with nothing between her soles and the pavement. 

For some time, friends had been urging me to preserve some of my memories, especially those concerning my mother, a 12th-generation native, and thus was born Old Orleans: Memories of a Cape Cod Town. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Mary E. McDermott is a 13th-generation Cape Codder living in Orleans. She worked for 17 years in the Orleans Assessor’s Office and 23 years as a commercial insurance broker at Pike Insurance Agency. She has been a justice of the peace to solemnize marriages since 1976 and has previously published two books of poetry, Tapestry and Handle with Care. Her poems have appeared in several publications including the Christian Science Monitor.

Old Orleans: Memories of a Cape Cod Town, is available now wherever good books are sold, especially your local book store.

JOIN SEA CROW PRESS IN WELCOMING AUTHOR FRAN MCNICOL

A new book from author Fran McNicol.

Fran is an accomplished surgeon and horsewoman and she writes from Nelipot Cottage in the English countryside.

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What if we could keep our beloved horses in a way that is governed by their needs, rather than our convenience? What if we could offer horses a life that fulfils their need for friends, forage and freedom, as well as our goals and desires?

This seems a fair exchange in return for allowing us to share their grace and beauty. A healthy, happy and sound horse would be a partner in a dream come true.

This book is the story of my journey, from horse-mad child, through goal orientated doctor training horses for competition, to listening to my horses and learning from them about life and love.

Fran McNicol

An afternoon spent reading Fran McNicol is a journey through the English countryside with her band of horses and loyal dog. Along the way, she shares her best practice techniques to achieve barefoot healthy horses pastured in social groups with access to forage in fields rewilded to combine best horse nutrition with best environmental practice.

Barefoot Hooves and Open Hearts will be available on March 30 from Sea Crow Press and wherever good books are sold.

Until then, stay tuned for our cover reveal, and a series of blogs from Nelipot Cottage.

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ABOUT FRAN

Fran McNicol is an amateur equestrienne living in the UK. As a full-time surgeon, she obviously knows a huge amount about the human animal, but the most useful product of medical training, from the horses’ point of view, is that she learned how to research, evaluate evidence, and then apply theory to optimise the care of her horses.

Her writing is therefore a mix of opinion and her current state of learning from 25 years of doctoring, time working around the world as a polo groom, and many years of keeping her own horses. She loves training young horses and focuses on riding the sport horse both classically and holistically. She competes regularly for her local riding club, especially in One Day Eventing. 

Nelipot Cottage started life as an educational blog to share learning and best practise to promote the benefits of a barefoot and holistic herd lifestyle for whole horse health and to reflect on life lessons learned along the way. She believes that horses exist to bring out the very best in humans. Fran hopes that sharing these tales will bring new friends, kindred spirits, exchange of knowledge, and lots of positive energy into the lives of the Nelipot herd.