Performance Publishing

An Unknown Soldier by David Henningham

August 14th, 2018 | Posted by David in



Brings a much-needed sense of indignation and disgust to present-day rituals of commemoration and gives a voice to the anonymous war dead of all nations without tapping into simple patriotic sentimentality. – David Collard, The Times Literary Supplement

Exhibited in the National Poetry Library as part of a Henningham Family Press solo exhibition. Part of the Southbank Centre’s commemoration of the 2014 Centenary of the First World War.

13 in stock

SKU: 9780956316660 Category: Tags: , ,


Henningham’s mordant wit and avant-garde flair is part of another poetic tradition stretching back to Wyndham Lewis, Ezra Pound and the Dada pranksters of Zurich – David Collard, The Times Literary Supplement 

What is the meaning of an unknown soldier in the age of DNA testing? Does he now embody our desire to ignore the past, rather than remember?

‘An Unknown Soldier’ dissects the legacy of war in three parts. First, ‘Preparatory Oratory’ satirises official remembrance with a voice like the bastard-child of BLAST and The Book of Common Prayer.

Part II is a disordered pile of fragments and duplicates for the reader to rearrange; the Unknown Soldier himself who “may not be all there”. The dialect of no-man’s-land is as corrupted as this body of text.

Part III (Funeral, March) is a triptych of verses that reflect on the author’s family on the home front and in peacetime.

Throughout the book, three bespoke fonts evoke the anatomy of trench warfare.

About the Author

David Henningham, (b. London, 1981) lives and works in Dalston, London. He writes poetry and essays that are completed through fine art printmaking, bookbinding and performance. He obtained his BA at Chelsea College of Art, 2004, and MA at Slade School of Fine Art, 2006. He met his wife Ping at St Martins School of Art and they  formed the Henningham Family Press in 2006 to make art together. Collections that have acquired their work include: Victoria & Albert Museum, the Tate, Poetry Library (Royal Festival Hall), UCL, Chelsea College of Art and UCLA. They have exhibited/performed at Christie’s (Multiplied), Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the British Library, BBC Radio Theatre (The Verb), London Word Festival, Berlin, Ghent, Oslo, Bergen, Indiana and Virginia.


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Additional information

Weight 500 kg
Dimensions 30 × 16 × 1 cm




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