Mountain Punk – John Dexter Jones
A warm welcome to my latest book…
Mountain Punk relates mainly, although not exclusively, to my relationship with the mountains of Eryri – Snowdonia, as it’s known to many. It’s a collection of stories that invites the reader to consider a less ‘conventional’ approach to visiting the hills and mountains; not to guide or prescribe, but to suggest from experience and by example that there is more out there than ‘route-finding’ and ‘box-ticking’. I suppose I’m looking at a more emotional, less material reflection on the high places and what they mean to me.
Much writing on this subject appears to be constrained by formula, just as so many visits to the hills appear to address a narrow need to ‘conquer’ rather than ‘experience’. I’m more interested in the latter. The stories in the book might inspire a sense of connecting with something, rather than overcoming it. There is no particular structure to the book – you may dip in and out at will.
Mountain Punk is illustrated with paintings by my great friend Pete Jones, a Welsh artist whose work appears in the National Gallery of Wales and The National Library of Wales. There is a good deal of wonderful digital imagery gracing the pages of thousands of books – everyone has a good camera these days – but not everyone has the eye of a brilliant artist with which to capture the feel of Eryri . In another world this would be a ‘coffee-table book with attitude’ – as it stands, it’s a true-to-its-principles DIY effort. I’m grateful to Steph at Sound Marketing Press for her help in putting it together.
When I completed this collection of stories, I questioned who might actually want to read it. Perhaps it would be people who have experience of the mountains but are looking to get off the beaten track? Maybe it would be those curious to explore the mountains and hills of Wales for the first time but who have no stomach for crowds? Are there people who just love to read about the high places, whether they’ve walked them all or never set foot on a mountain in Wales or anywhere else? Many books about the mountains convey excitement and adventure that is out of reach for mere mortals – they make for great reading – but I’m after something more attainable…
I’m a ‘local’. Many books about Eryri are written by people from outside the area. No problem with that at all, but as someone who grew up in Bangor, and whose family worked in the quarries, on the farms and in the ports, I perhaps take a different view of the landscape and what it ‘means’. I’ve been walking Eryri for nearly fifty years years, and for the first twenty years of my life, opened the curtains on a view that stretched from Foel Fras in the east to Yr Wyddfa in the west. I know the place. I’m part of it and it is part of me. Some poems punctuate this book. Like the pictures, they are part of its flow; pauses on the journey; thoughts. Sometimes a story works best in the shortest form possible.
So here it is. Mountain Punk. If you’d like a copy, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll tell you how to get one.