Martin Shaw | Unlocking the Power of Myth

Part of Shifting Outlooks, November 2016

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is a mythologist and storyteller. Dr. Shaw lived under canvas for four years exploring tiny pockets of the English countryside - claiming to have walked out of this century altogether. When his time was over, he found himself, a pagan romantic, approaching a society with amnesia or active hostility to such a notion. This, he claims, is where the myths come in: myths so mysterious, so lively, so generously suffused with animism, they may just make a crossroads between the village and the forest again. He will ask the questions; what is the difference between shelter and comfort? What is the consequence of living in a time heavily defended against an experience of our own beauty? How do we learn to bend our head to something greater than ourselves? In this provocative talk, Shaw will invite us to drink deeply from the ethics of a fairy tale.

Martin Shaw is the author of the award winning A Branch From The Lightning Tree, Snowy Tower and Scatterlings: Getting Claimed in the Age of Amnesia. He founded the Oral Tradition course at Stanford University and is director of the Westcountry School of Myth. Recent collaborations have included "Lost Gods" with Mark Rylance and Paul Kingsnorth, and he is currently finishing a book of translations of the poet Lorca (with Stephan Harding) entitled "Courting TheDawn".