A Flint Incentive collects the majority of Richard Skelton’s writing since 2015—over one hundred and forty texts from numerous small press pamphlets, poem cards, books and editions. Works include Ferae Naturae (2015), The Not Fire (2015), On Ruin (2018), Chemical Memories (2019), Moraine (2020) and Notes on the Landscape, II (2020).
A significant portion of the book comprises an overview of The Cult Revived, an ongoing literary archaeology of archival sources begun in 2015. At its core, the work contends that echoes of archaic oral cultures can be found in the textual residues of the present. It therefore amasses a ‘word moraine’ by randomly intermingling elements from a range of subjects, including archaeology, ecology, geology, toponymy, mythology, religion and folklore. This material then becomes the site for a series of poetic excavations.
The book also contains Skelton’s long poem, Dark Hollow Dark (2019)—a ‘chant in seven parts’ that absorbs textual spolia from various archaic sources to explore other-than-human voices. In addition to his poetry, A Flint Incentive contains excerpts from his two works of fiction, The Look Away (2018) and And Then Gone (2020). The collection is completed by a new sequence of twenty-five poems, entitled The Second Chamber, written during the late summer, autumn and early winter of 2019.