Harmatan goatskin, J & J Jeffery endpapers. Each flower design built up from a combination of hand tools.
The word, the image, and the space between . . .
Like prints that trail off in a swirl of snow
what’s meant is more than it was meant to mean
– by us, at least
The first ‘poem-by-way-of-a-preface’ implies that this book is a three-way collaboration of the words (the poet’s) and the images (the engraver’s) and the space between (the printer/designer).
On this occasion, it is not just one art form responding to another. Sometimes a poem responded to a visual image, sometimes vice versa; many pages are more collaborative still, with a sketch from one prompting a draft from the other, worked up to a finished picture and redrafted poem once the printer’s hand has set them in their space. Poppies, trees, fire, natural forms all excite the different forms of expression found here.
Peter Reddick was, for many years, one of the most highly regarded of British wood engravers and his work has appeared in many Penguin books, those of the Folio Society and Limited Editions Club, New York. He has inspired students not only in Glasgow and Bristol but further afield in Ghana and he was the founder of Spike Island, the lively Bristol Printmaking studio.
Philip Gross is a renowned poet and successful writer of thrilling and challenging novels for young people, of plays, science fiction and radio short stories. ‘ . . he should be recognised as one of England’s very best poets . . . for the exuberance of his imagination.'(TLS). He is currently Professor of Creative writing at the University of Glamorgan.