Monday, 20 March 2017

The Book of Banished Words

I'm delighted to announce that the proofs of my latest publication The Polar Tombola: A Book of Banished Words are back from the printer - and they look stunning. The book is an anthology drawn from a two-year participatory live literature project, with contributions from people around the UK, including new commissions from artists and writers.

The project is part-funded by Arts Council England, and to raise futher funds to cover printing costs I'm running a Kickstarter campaign. One week in, I'm delighted to announce that generous early bird sponsors have enabled me to reach nearly 50% of my goal. If you would like to help this endeavour, please join them! To secure your copy of the book at a special pre-order price, or pick up one of the other rewards on offer, just visit the Kickstarter page.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The Polar Tombola in Bristol


Catch the Polar Tombola on the final date of its UK tour! This spring the Tombola will be at Bristol Artists' Book Event, a highlight of the bibliophile's calendar. The exciting - free! - event on 1-2 April will see book artists from Europe and beyond gather to exhibit, perform and sell their work in Bristol's majestic Arnolfini. 

Join us to play The Polar Tombola and celebrate the launch of a new book The Polar Tombola: A Book of Banished Words, published by Bird Editions with contributions from artists and writers including Sarah Bodman, Vahni Capildeo, Will Eaves, Pippa Hennessy, Nasim Marie Jafry, Lisa Matthews, Phil Owen and Richard Price. 

Read a short interview with me about The Polar Tombola and  A Book of Banished Words on the Arnolfini blog

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I'll be performing or exhibiting my work at these events over the next few months. Further information on times, venues and booking can be found on my website

This year's World Book Night United Artists project takes place over 10-12 March in Loch Ness. Watch this space to see whether we spot the Monster!

Friday, 3 February 2017

Oxford Poetry

Together with my co-editors, Mary Jean Chan and Theophilus Kwek, I'm delighted to announce a new issue of Oxford Poetry. The latest number brings together poems and prose on the theme of Erasure from Jack Underwood, Bernard O'Donoghue, Melissa Lee-Houghton, Alison Brackenbury, Shukria Rezaei, Jennifer Wong and many others.

Tom Paulin described Oxford Poetry as "One of the best small magazines in the country" and it's certainly one of the oldest, having been established in 1910, when it was set up by undergraduates and published by Basil Blackwell. These days, while maintaining a connection with the university, it looks far wider: the stellar poets who have recently featured in its pages include Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney, George Szirtes and Les Murray.

Read the full list of contributors and purchase or subscribe in the online shop.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Winter reading: Morris, Freud, Bacon & Co

  • a review of The Book Beautiful: William Morris, Hilary Pepler and the Private Press Story at Ditchling Museum of Art+Craft for the Times Literary Supplement blog
  • a review of a number of new books on the art of letters, including Letter Writing Among Poets (ed. Jonathan Ellis) and The Letters Page (ed. Jon McGregor) in the Times Literary Supplement (print edition out 26 January and online).  
  • an introduction to the National Original Print Exhibition catalogue, for the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE), London. See illustration above, also accessible online.
  • a pair of short catalogue essays on Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud for the exhibition Bacon / Freud: Selected Graphic Works at Marlborough Fine Art, London. Accessible online.
  • an interview with artist Sue Ridge for a feature in Printmaking Today, looking at her prizewinning work Aphasia Wallpaper and its roots in the work and life of William Morris. (See illustration below.)
  • a review of the catalogue for Degas: A Strange New Beauty, an exhibition of Degas' monotypes at MOMA, New York, in Printmaking Today.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Bacon / Freud at Marlborough Fine Art

It was a great pleasure to write about two titans of twentieth-century art for the catalogue to the current exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art, London. The different approaches to printmaking demonstrated by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud creates high drama in the gallery. Bacon and Freud: Selected Graphic Works is at Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street, London until 25 February 2017. The catalogue (pictured below) can also be read online.