Michelle MillerAllen’s fascinating Guardian of the Dark School is a big book, an epic weave of archetypes that come to life in the Southwest desert, powered by revelations of mystery and sexual experience, all the while poking sly fun at the foibles and pretensions of the literary establishment. You can hear the coyotes howl as you turn the pages.
Sharon Niederman, New Mexico Author of Return to Abo and Signs & Shrines: Spiritual Journeys Across New Mexico
Michelle MillerAllen sets her cast of poets and artists in a New
Mexican hacienda, and weaves together murder mystery, sexual tension and
Green Man folklore into a Celtic knotwork plot. Gripping!
~Mandy Haggith, Scottish Author of The Last Bear and Bear Witness
Set in the dark woods of a remote mountain estate in Northern New Mexico, it is the 14th year of the annual Liam Fagan Residency Prize for Emerging Poets. Fiona, a young MFA poet from Baltimore, is this year’s winner. She arrives at the Fagans’ rambling hacienda, the hallways of which are filled with eerie carved Green Man masks, to find an ambiguous host and hostess and surly groundskeeper, who are reluctant to discuss the history of a poet who disappeared there 14 years ago.
Fiona decides not to stay, sensing trouble…but in the local village meets last year’s prize winner, Raven, who bears a dark anger toward the Fagans, and describes some disturbing ritualistic experiences. Fiona, now intrigued and feeling braver in Raven’s feisty company, reluctantly agrees to stay and team up to find out what happened to the missing poet. With the help of Hank, an aging and cantankerous gumshoe from Boulder, the two poets find themselves led deeper and deeper into the dark woods and some dangerous goings on. The presence of the mythological Green Man and a spell of eros form the compelling backdrop to their adventures.
And then…things get decidedly darker.