Dark Mountain: Issue 24 – Eight Fires

Our twenty-fourth book is an ensemble exploration of the eight fire festivals of the year, based on Dark Mountain’s workshop series ‘How We Walk Through the Fire’.

Eight Fires is a collection of creative practices, testimony, tools, ceremony, stories, art and poetry, that revolve around the eight seasonal fires. It charts the building of a collaborative cultural practice over the cycle of the year, with six elemental themes, an invitation at winter solstice, and a gathering at the zenith of midsummer.

From its beginning,  the Dark Mountain Project set out to gather stories rooted in place and time that were not focused on the drive of progress, that did not place human beings at the centre off life. But the question remains: how do we do this in our practical lives beyond the page? When we are fatally entangled in a civilisation that restricts our being anything other than a consumer of resources and entertainment?

Eight Fires tells a story about re-forging an imaginative relationship with the Earth at a time of reckoning; about connecting deeply to the wild and feral places we live in in a culture fraught by forgetting and isolation. How we hosted fires in the winters of the far North, on the rooftops and riverbanks of European cities, at the edge of an Indian forest or Hebridean coastline, in the Indigenous lands of Australia and California.

It is a book made of wild winds, seaweed shelters, glass mushrooms, talking fire sticks, singing stones, moments of joy, grief and intense physical immersion in a sentient planet.

It’s about dancing with bears, listening to mountains, sleeping with trees; a reminder of how we can speak together around a fire when the animals and ancestors are standing behind us.

A map, a manual, a sketch book, a raggle-taggle lexicon, a collective love song to life in a collapsing world.

With 70 contributors, 50+ full-colour artworks, and countless more-than-human participants

Writers: Catherine Bush, Leonie Charlton, Heather Clapp, Laura Coleman, Kimberly Coburn, Charlotte Du Cann, Sharon English, Siana Fitzjohn, Joanna Gilar, Nick Hunt, Rebecca Hunter, Daniela Kato, Jayden McGinty, Kristin Moe, Nastassja Noell, Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Shalini Pattabiraman, Dougie Strang, Leslie VonHolten, Samantha Wallen, Rhyd Wildermuth.

Poets and Practitioners: Valerie Boissel, Lucy Cooper, Sarah DiViasmeni, Heather Clapp, Tamara Colchester, Anisa George, Fiona Glen, Michael Gregory, Joanna Hruby, Kasey Jueds, Jane Lovell, Claire Estelle Lubke, Lucy Neal, Ian Nesbitt, Louise Amelia Phelps, Erin Reschke, Paul Rankin, Elvire Roberts, Ceó Ruaírc, Sarah Royston, Phoebe Tickell, Matthew Shaw, Sophie Strand, Mark Watson, Michael Walsh, Sara Jolena Walcott.

Artists: Amory Abbott, Peter Cameron, Laura Coleman, Rebecca Clark, Katie Ione Craney, Faye Dobinson, Laura Dutton, David Ellingsen, Jess Farr, Catarina Fontoura, Jemima Hall, Geraldine van Heemstra, Tracy Hill, Tony Humbleyard, Basia Irland, Candace Jensen, Emily Joy,  Carrie LaChance, Meryl McMaster, Carey Mortimer, Lynette O’Kane, Kathryn Poole, Dan Porter, Rainey Strauss, Jordan Tierney,  Jessie Rose Vala, Caroline Ross, Forest Woodward, Cally Yeatman.

Editors: Anthea Lawson, Steve Wheeler. Poetry: Michael McLane. Assistant editors:  Catherine Bush, Lucy Cooper, Sharon English, Leslie VonHolten,  Art and Production: Charlotte Du Cann

Cover: Eight Fires (from set of 11) by Candace Jensen

Dark Mountain: Issue 24 is a full-colour softback, 256 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 978-1-8384160-5-8

Dark Mountain: Issue 22 – ARK

What do you keep when the storm comes in, and the tide goes out?

Our twenty-second issue is an ARK you might not expect: a store of testimonials from the custodians of a planet in peril, a seed bank to buffer us against an uncertain future, or a queue of iconic animals rescued from extinction.

Instead its pages carry a cargo of another sort: an assemblage of stories gathered from the wreckage left by a flood that has already come; art and writing that reveal the beauty, resilience and strength found in being fully alive in a troubled time. Our seeds are collected from felled trees and activist front lines, our disappearing creatures discovered in dreams; our artworks made with ochre from a polluted shore, with peat from endangered bogs, with insect wings, limpet shells, unloved spruce needles, microoganisms, tilting ocean horizons. A hold that treasures tales about what might happen next.

This ARK has been made in collaboration with the Wilderness Art Collective a work of creative salvage, with a cover and content pages (designed brilliantly by Graeme Walker) forged from abandoned archives and old typewriter keys. Most of all, it is a testament to the imagination of writers and artists, gleaners in a world that has lost its way, to show how we can build and regenerate an Earth-centred culture from what has been bequeathed us on a vanished tide.


Writers Chiara Ambrosio, Simeon Ayres, Shrishtee Bajpai, Amy Boyd, Freya Catron, Leonie Charlton, Heather Durham, Christine Fentz, Siana Fitzjohn, Michael Guida, Hayley Harrison, Jonathan Hopfner, Nick Hunt, Neale Inglenook, Liz Jensen, Theophilus Kwek, Micheál Mac Gearailt, Jaden McGinty, Nicholas Crane Moore, Eleanor Morgan, Alexandra Narváez, Bethany Pitts, Stephanie Radok. Ben Rawlence, Christy Rodgers, Caroline Ross, Laura Seldner, Miriam Sharland, Jane Smith, Nick Stewart, Sophie Strand, Felipe Viveros, Nicholas Wilkinson.

Artists Sanne Bjerg, Monique Besten, William Bock, Shelley Castle, Catalina Christensen, Louisa Crispin, Kristen Egan, Christine Fentz,  Joanne Grüne-Yanoff, Heidi Gustafson, Geraldine van Heemstra, Basia Ireland, Lucy Neal, Effie Paleologou, Christopher Patton, Joanna Pocock, Robin V. Robinson, Christy Rodgers, Meridel Rubenstein, Hannah Scott, Rainey Straus, Nick Stewart.

Wilderness Art Collective William Bock, Catalina Christensen, Louisa Crispin, Geraldine van Heemstra, Caroline Ross, Hannah Scott.

Editors Neale Inglenook,. Joanna Pocock, Philip Webb Gregg. Art and Production: Charlotte Du Cann.

Cover and contents artwork Graeme Walker

Dark Mountain: Issue 22 is a hardback book, 256 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 978-1-8384160-3-4

Dark Mountain: Issue 20 – ABYSS

Our twentieth book brings an uncivilised eye to the mindset of extractivism.

Dark Mountain: Issue 20 – ABYSS delves deep into civilisation’s plunder of Earth. This all-colour strikingly illustrated issue reveals the hidden assault behind our technocratic lifestyle: on mountains, on trees, water, creatures and human beings, as extractvism’s insatiable drive for natural resources fuels a seemingly endless expansion in consumption.

From the hacked, fracked and exploded ground of the American West to tin mines in Cornwall and oil wells in Tajikistan; from 17th-century Dutch colonialism in Indonesia’s Banda Islands to an activist escapade in New Zealand’s Great South Basin; from lithium ponds in the Atacama Desert to the vanished rainforests of Borneo, over 60 writers and artists bear witness to this global pillage, as well as the pushback by communities and indigenous people in defence of their homelands.

In ABYSS, Alnoor Ladha and Martin Kirk write that we are living in the age of wetiko, an Algonquin term for a cannibalistic spirit that spreads like a virus. In South Africa, Sage Freda writes of how environmental and human exploitation are inextricably linked; the more we wreck and ravage the Earth, the more deeply we damage ourselves. As wetiko spreads across the world, all of us – and all other species – end up living and dying in the sacrifice zone.

But this book also asks: how do we remain fully human while so much  around us is being destroyed, especially as we (at least, some of us) enjoy so many of the material benefits that devastation brings? The fiction and poetry in this book navigate this tricky terrain, from Claire Wahmanholm’s haunting depictions of glaciers melting on the page to Tacey Atsitty’s wrenching depiction of the poisoned water supplies of the Diné in the American Southwest. Meanwhile, the art confronts us with the real cost of human interference: beginning with Lawrence Gipe’s stunning cover of a Siberian diamond mine, and ending with Aboriginal artist Betty Muffler’s post-nuclear work, Healing Country, that shows the scale and beauty of the Earth repair required.

Inspired by the CODEX Foundation’s project EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, Dark Mountain’s 20th issue plumbs the depths of the pit we have dug in order to see how deep we have gone, and where we might go from here.

To celebrate Dark Mountain 20’s release, we invite you to join us for an online launch on Thursday 21st October starting at 19:00 BST. Tickets are limited so you’ll need to register to ensure a place – just follow this link. We hope to see you there!


Writers:  Tacey M. Atsitty, Negar Elodie Behzadi, Matthew Cooperman,  Bart Crezee, Will Falk, Paul Feather, Siana FitzJohn, Sage Frieda, Amitav Ghosh, Fiona Glen, Christie Green, Erika Howsare, Derrick Jensen, Nick Hunt, Bhanu Kapil, Lierre Keith, Alnoor Ladha, Jay Lovekin, Michael McLane, Henrik Olav Mathiesen, Natassja Noell, Rob Percival, Shaun Pett, Sophia Pickles, Joanna Pocock,  Dr Conohar Scott, Molly Sturdevant, Claire Wahmanholm, Max Wilbert, Ben Walter, Philip Webb Gregg

Artists: Jamie Allen, Deru Anding, Tom Baskeyville, Jaime Black, William T. Carson,  Jim Carter, David Ellingsen,  Kate Jessop, Eva Joly, Jon Jost, David Lauer, Anika Nixdorf, Lauren Redniss, Rebecca Riley, Bridget Rountree, Christopher Volpe

Extraction artists and poets: Christopher Benson, Nina Berman, Christopher Boyer, Craig Czury, Elena Dorfman, Erin Espelie, David Gardner, Lawrence Gipe, Ilka Hartmann, Jane Hirshfield, Basia Irland, Hikmet Sydney Loe, David Maisel, Laura McPhee, Richard Misrach, Betty Muffler, Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Bob Nugent, Paccarik Orue, Erika Osborne, Arthur Sze, Tess Taylor, Erin Vink, Michelle Waters, Will Wilson

Editors: Nick Hunt, Joanna Pocock. Steve Wheeler, Michael McClane (poetry) and Charlotte Du Cann (art). Contributing editor: Tom Smith. The book was co-produced by Charlotte Du Cann and Nick Hunt.

Cover: No 2 Russian Drone Painting (Mir Diamond Mine, Siberia) by Lawrence Gipe


Dark Mountain: Issue 20 – ABYSS is a hardback book, 248 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper



After Ithaca: Journeys in Deep Time

A pile of seeds, a tuft of wool, a vessel of water, a closed box

What happens when the heroes disappear, when the battle for the city is over, when you return to the island and find a box in your hands? There was an instruction once that told us why the box should never be opened. But you don’t believe those stories anymore. You always open the box.

After Ithaca is a non-fiction work – part memoir, part essay, part travelogue – that follows a real life journey of descent in a world on the tip of crisis. It is set in the Peruvian rainforest, in the backrooms of Suffolk towns, in Japan, in France, Australia, in the desert borderlands, in borrowed houses and Occupy tents, in kitchens and burial chambers, underneath a lemon tree on an abandoned terrace…

The book revolves around the four initiatory tasks of Psyche, set by Venus, the goddess of love and justice: four territories that map this search for meaning and coherence in a time of fall. Each chapter starts with a memory of place as a clue to the investigation: the recovery of a relationship with wild nature, with being human, a kind of archaeology for the pieces of self that lie missing beneath a broken storyline, like the sherds of a pot.

It is a personal story and also a social story, about the relinquishment of a certain world, that looks at writing as an existential practice: showing how myth can be a techne for finding our lost voice, our medicine of how to put a crooked thing straight.

How to pull ourselves out of the wreckage, and start again.


‘Du Cann’s stunning interweaving of myth, history, culture and stories from the land take us deep into ourselves, to places we have never been and most crucially towards the Earth and each other… This is a beautiful, smart and generous book.’
— Joanna Pocock, author of Surrender: The Call of the American West

‘… quite remarkable. Turning her back on a society living on the surface, Charlotte Du Cann goes very deep indeed — deep into time, but also place, identity, gritty reality. Thoreau strove for ‘the solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact!,’ and I think this author has taken up that good work and brought it into our fateful, flickering time.’
— Bill McKibben, author The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon, founder of 350.org

‘This beautiful and powerfully written book illuminates and challenges the stories we choose to live by in these times. Offering no easy answers but – as in all the best old myths – asking all the right questions, After Ithaca is a work of rare clarity, a fierce and necessary hymn to the human capacity for transformation.’
— Sharon Blackie, author of If Women Rose Rooted

Du Cann weaves sobriety and rapture so closely together they often exist within the same sentence. Both intimate and wide-scale mythological, this is a writer taking the hard yards and many blessings of her life and crafting something of real sustenance for others. Come see the big view.
– Dr Martin Shaw, author of Smoke Hole

In After Ithaca, Charlotte Du Cann draws the reader on a transformative journey around the globe, dancing nimbly from mythos to mythos and deep into deep time. Simultaneously grave and yet full of redemptive beauty, both elegy and awakening, these essays should be in every intrepid traveller’s kitbag.
– Nancy Campbell, author of Fifty Words for Snow

It takes clear-hearted cunning, stubborn humility and a fierce patience to smuggle truth back from the Underworld alive. Hardly anyone can do it, these days, but Charlotte Du Cann knows how. You’ll find no false promises in this book, no get-out-of-jail-free cards, and no play-acting. What you hold in your hands is a container of mythic material capable of blowing you clean out of the timeline of civilisation.
– Dougald Hine, co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project

Mythos meets Opinel
– Lucy Neal, author Playing for Time – Making Art as if  the World Mattered


After Ithaca is a softback book, 255 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 9781896559834

Loss Soup and Other Stories

A journalist is invited to the fabled Dinner of Loss to drink a viscous soup made of lost and extinct things. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a nihilistic sea captain becalms himself on a plastic sea, while in an English fishing village a senile Blackbeard reminisces about his bloodthirsty glory days. The failed conquistador Cabeza de Vaca sheds his personality on the swampy coasts of the New World, and in a cabin in the woods a couple are haunted by the ghosts of Homo erectus, Neanderthals and other extinct hominids. Elsewhere, a legendary beast is dragged from a Welsh mountain lake…

The fourteen stories in Nick Hunt’s debut collection of short fiction travel from sixteenth-century Mexico to a post-collapse near future, from a visionary supermarket to life on other planets. All of them revolve around different forms of loss. By turns blackly funny, disquieting and fantastical, Loss Soup and Other Stories is a journey through the Anthropocene, climate chaos and the Sixth Extinction to the strange new worlds that might lie beyond.


‘With their eerie dream logic, Nick Hunt’s stories get closer to the heart of what it is to live in a time of endings than a forest of dystopian novels. They hold a dark mirror to our predicament, allowing us to approach it without being turned to stone.’
– Dougald Hine, Dark Mountain co-founder

‘Nick Hunt’s short stories are two increasingly rare things – original, and uncategorisable. Once read, they are not forgotten.’
– Paul Kingsnorth, author of The Wake

‘Loss Soup is a heady concoction of speculative fiction, ecological fables, and historical stories with the scope of novels. If a computer writing programme were able to combine Borges with Calvino, it might come up with something like this book. Yet it would miss the humanity, the wit and the moral imagination that blaze forth from Nick Hunt’s strange tales of the Anthropocene.’
– Gregory Norminton, author of The Devil’s Highway

‘Edgy, unsettling, fearlessly interrogative, brilliantly written and ultimately hopeful. Nick Hunt probes deep into the reasons for our nagging sense of bereavement. Most of us don’t even know what we’ve lost. Until we do, we can’t start the business of finding. Hunt’s important collection helps us to start the search for the crucial missing parts of our psyches, our societies and our ideas.’
– Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast and Being a Human

‘Nick Hunt has the gift of reconnecting his readers to the mood of timeless storytellers, and in so doing, activates archetypal principles that can bring direction, meaning and life in reflecting on our times.’
– Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul and Poacher’s Pilgrimage.


Loss Soup and Other Stories is a softback book, 147 pages long, printed on FSC-certified paper

ISBN 9781896559827