Early plans for a publication at the end of my residency with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art included the idea of a series of woodcuts, but I shelved these as story collecting and poem writing took over. It seemed like that was plenty enough to do…
It surprised me then, to find myself cutting out leaves and letters from black paper in my studio the week I was due to hand in the pages to David and Ping at The Henningham Family Press.
I took my scalpel, cutting mat and big piles of A3 paper, and cut out a page for each of my six sections: path, undergrowth, shrub layer, canopy, clearing, floor. It was very freeing, snipping my way into a happy trance where black and white dance their dialogue – a more familiar terrain to me than anything outdoors, or that other forest I’ve been hacking about in: Poetry.
Here are the images for Clearing and Undergrowth.
Amazingly, these are now in place in the book proofs, heralding the start of each clump of collected stories and other drawings. The book is going to print this Monday, all 112 pages of it.
Anyone who feels like a trip to Corby on the 2nd May will be welcome to join the launch party.
We’ll be in a woodland clearing in the middle of town, just up from the boating lake, Cottingham Road, NN17 2UN, 4- 6PM – with drawings in the trees, music and forest refreshments.
I’ll be reading poems from the book, and other poets from the area will also be performing work on the theme. If you know a great woodland poem, or have written one, bring it along to share.
London showings/readings are scheduled for June at TheBookartbookshop, Hoxton, and The Poetry Society in Covent Garden in November/December.