The Agathopolis Company
THE AGATHOPOLIS COMPANY publishes poetry and plays.
Please note new address: Jerry Nolan, The Agathopolis Company, No. 59 Homecross House, 21, Fishers Lane, Chiswick, London W4 1YA.
New book (June 2013):
Seven World Movers in the Garden:
This cycle of nine poems imagines moments of self-revelation involving world movers: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), Margaret Anna Cusack (1829-1899), Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003), Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975), Carl Jung (1875-1961), Athanasius Kircher (1601-1680).
12 illustrations (in colour) from the triptych by Hieronymous Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights
Paperback: 70 pages
New book (October 2012):
Walter's Magical Lantern:
To mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Walter Spies.
Walter's Magical Lantern features Walter Spies (1895-1942) the painter in love with the island of Bali as the prisoner on board ship off the coast of Sumatra in 1942. Spies treats the audience as imagined bystanders.
Magic Realism of Walter Spies illustrates and analyses ten of Spies's key pictures and discusses why his achievements have been generally ignored until quite recently.
Paperback: 61 pages
New book (October 2011):
Conjuring in Follies:
This quartet of plays, Conjuring in Follies, explores the private worlds ('follies') of four men juggling with the advance of age and the prospect of eventual self-defeat.
In 3. Marc's Yellow Pigeon Loft, racing star enthusiast in youth suffers serious injury on horseback in middle age when he struggles fiercely with old and new relationships as death approaches.
In 4. The Red Siren Cardinal, retired missionary bishop honoured by the Pope grows attracted to the turbulent lives of two young men, causing him to trip on the heavenly ladder.
Paperback: 105 pages
New book (April 2011):
Conjuring in Follies:
This quartet of tragic-comic plays explores the private worlds ('follies') of four men juggling with the advance of age and the prospect of eventual self-defeat.
In 1. Golden's Ruby Double, recently retired history teacher battles against the onset of a nervous breakdown in which his manipulative mother is intimately involved from a distance.
In 2. The Shadows in Tat's Box, poet famous for one book fallen out of fashion imprisons himself in a strange black-box room where his guests tend only to fuel his frustrations.
Paperback: 119 pages
New book (September 2010):
Beckford of Lansdown:
Research into the Beckford papers at the Bodleian Library reveals how the William Beckford who retired to Lansdown in Bath seems at odds with the recycled version of a confused old man being deservedly punished for a lifetime of misdeeds and ill-gotten fortune. Beckford of Lansdown emerges as a compulsive teacher of gifted younger men whose talents he often creatively challenged, while he revised his earlier writings and energetically lampooned fashionable opinions. This study of Beckford of Lansdown marking the 250th anniversary of his birth collects mainly essays published between 1997 and 2008 in The Beckford Journal which is annually published by the Beckford Society.
Paperback: 134 pages
New book (January 2010):
The Window Ajar Alphabet:
These 136 poems were written intermittently over a period of almost 50 years. They were occasional records, often scribbled in school exercise books, at times of pressing personal interest. A miscellany of experience emerges: influences of an Irish Catholic upbringing, importance of close personal relationships, versions of the life stories of real and imagined characters, fluctuating views of the passions for teaching and acting, and the scramble for perspectives on reading histories and travelling widely. I fine-tuned here and there, and sequenced the selected poems not in their chronological order of composition but in the alphabetical order of their titles.
Paperback: 120 pages
New book (September 2009):
Beat the Last Trumpet:
When Pope Pius XII died in 1958, it was not generally realised that the Catholic Church was on the brink of great changes. The action of this play takes place in County Kerry, Ireland, shortly before and shortly after the Pope's death. All the characters, across three generations, would describe themselves as 'Irish Catholics', but 'Irish' and 'Catholic' are often in conflict. Tension grows between and within two families as unexpected love among the young causes widespread furore. There are two battling priests, the retired fiery African missionary and the retiring independently-minded parish priest. Deep emotional attachments surface again between a reluctant spinster and an exiled writer/actor who satirically exposes personal and national tragedies. In the final scene, the dying missionary priest bequeaths his traditional Catholic beliefs to a Jesuit-educated young man, but the overwhelming priority for his spinster-sister becomes a dedication to caring for the local human casualties of her brother's lifelong religious passion.
Paperback: 80 pages
New book (May 2009):
The Golden Caterpillar With Black Tail:
In 1494 there emerged from relative obscurity in Florence the figure of Savonarola as preacher, scholar, reformer, prophet and saviour who succeeded in attracting many devoted followers and a few dedicated enemies. This play enacts key events in Florence: the invasion of Charles VIII of France; the Bonfire of the Vanities, Excommunications from Rome, the Ordeal by Fire, the Siege of San Marco, the Torture of Savonarola by the Papal Inquisitor. The play's climax describes the atrocious executions in the Piazza della Signoria as recorded by the Florentine diarist Luca Landucci who added the story of the Golden Catterpillar With Black Tail as a memorable image of the life and death of Savonarola.
Paperback: 64 pages
Extraordinary Views of Lansdown Tower:
This work is a dramatization, based on their selected writings, of the highly volatile relationship between probably the most myriad-minded man of his age, William Beckford and his ambitious biographer, Cyrus Redding, who struggles to grapple with the older man's vibrant personality, hurricane of opinions and challenging behaviour during the years of Beckford's retirement in bath. A genuinely moving friendship unexpectedly develops between the two unevenly matched personalities as Redding emerges as the only one in pole position to compile the first memoir of a very exceptional character.
Paperback: 53 pages
First publication 2008:
Cat of the Inner Cities & Other Outer Hebridean Poems
These poems and illustrations were mostly inspired by the indomitable spirit of Father Allan McDonald (1859-1905) - priest, poet & scholar on South Uist & Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides - a year ahead of the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Paperback: 74 pages
Contact: No. 59 Homecross House, 21, Fishers Lane, Chiswick, London W4 1YA.