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Resident photographer of the London literary scene, Harpreet Kalsi, captured our Dedalus launch party wonderfully.

You can see more of his photography at ≠thatthingyoupluck.com

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Dedalus available for pre-order in our shop here.

We are honoured and excited to be bringing you what can only be described as a hotly anticipated novel : Dedalus, by Chris McCabe.

The debut novel¬†of¬†a respected and much-loved poet; a sequel to the lodestar of Modernist writing; causing a stir among Joyceans and universities before it was even signed. The firstfruits of this novel… but I will share these with you later. For now :

“Friday‚Äôs children would be fattening like seals across the sand, on their way to class. Black liquorice teeth. Loving and giving under the whalefeed of the clouds. He had to teach.”

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Friday 17th June 1904. Stephen Dedalus wakes up in a Dublin Martello tower, hungover but with winnings in the pocket of his borrowed trousers. Dedalus goes about his day. Settling scores and debts. Pursued by the ghosts of his mother, Hamlet, and now a man called Leopold Bloom who has woken up with plans for him. The young poet weaves hopes and ideas into burning wings of ambition. Can he elude death in the passages of books?

McCabe’s iconoclastic tribute to James Joyce’s masterpiece gives right-of-reply to his self-portrait, Stephen Dedalus. Stephen and Bloom, cut from Joyce’s ego, become cultural types pasted into Digital Age storytelling.

‚ÄúParts of this book will remain with me, and pollute my reading of Hamlet and Ulysses, forever. I also add it to my personal library of Great Books About Dead Fathers.‚ÄĚ
Max Porter, Author of Grief is the Thing with Feathers

BLOOMSDAY BOOK LAUNCH:
FREE entry
5pm ‚Äď 7pm
Saturday 16th June 2018

Lock-keeper’s Cottage Graduate Centre
(nr. Mile End Lock)
Queen Mary University of London
London
E1 4PD
Nearest Tube Mile End

Join us for a can of Forty Foot beer ūüėȬ†music, and an¬†interactive reading :¬†you choose which path we¬†take as we dip into¬†the book.¬†You can turn up on the day, but email¬†us¬†(RSVP here) to be added to the guest list and receive updates.
We are delighted to be hosted by Queen Mary University of London¬†Department of English¬†: The London home of Joyce scholarship and¬†Ping’s¬†alma mater,¬†where she studied¬†Ulysses¬†and first introduced it to David. Without this introduction editing this book would have been impossible. QMUL offer cutting edge courses in Modernist Literature and Creative Writing. This is the place to be.

Order your PRESALE copy here, and it will arrive in all its gorgeousness (yellow translucent cover!) before Bloomsday:


Dedalus by Chris McCabe



Chris McCabe is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Speculatrix (Penned in the Margins). Pharmapoetica, with Maria Vlotides, was shortlisted for The Ted Hughes Award and his plays Shad Thames, Broken Wharf and Mudflats have been performed in Liverpool and London. His non-fiction series, searching for a great lost poet in one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries, begins with In the Catacombs: a Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery (selected as an LRB Bookshop book of the year) and Cenotaph South: Mapping the Lost Poets of Nunhead Cemetery. He co-edited, with Victoria Bean, The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayward Publishing, 2015).

The New Concrete

The New Concrete

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Some of you will remember the delicious Clotted Sun loose leaf book we made with Chris McCabe. His recent editorial collaboration with Victoria Bean, The New Concrete (Hayward Publishing), has led to another similarly satisfying project with us; an edition of 15 deluxe solander boxes containing a copy of The New Concrete and five giclée prints by five instigators from the original Concrete Poetry movement.

Our Epson Pro 7890 inkjet technology and several digital remastering techniques made this a perfect expression of the anthology’s theme – the revitalising effect digital technology has had upon the idea of concrete poetry. The beautiful bespoke black boxes we made are in themselves an edition, as we lined them with a black foil debossing of ‘Paradise’, a print from our Unknown Soldier series which looms in the back of the box like a secret track. This accompanies our Grand Eagle print which is included in the anthology itself.

Victoria took the boxes to America recently where they were acquired for several illustrious collections. If you are interested in finding out more with a view to purchasing one you should contact Victoria directly. It’s a great opportunity to get both a landmark anthology and an exhibition in a box.

I love making solander boxes. There’s a moment when they become synergetically taut as the glue, cloth and board lock together. They are the pinnacle of my craft.

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We are honoured to be included in this wonderful visual poetry anthology from Hayward Publishing (Hayward Gallery) alongside the likes of Vito Acconci, Christian Bok, Fiona Banner, Peter Finch, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Cerith Wyn Evans… and I note several very smart people we can also call our friends:

The New Concrete

Visual Poetry Since 2000
Edited by Victoria Bean and Chris McCabe

The New Concrete

Letters Home
The First World War Poetry Kit

Letters Home Poetry Kit

Letters Home Poetry Kit

Henningham Family Press and The Saison Poetry Library
14pp, ISBN: 9780956316615

The exhibition of An Unknown Soldier at the Royal Festival Hall that ran from November to January has now come down, but it will have a legacy in the Poetry Library for a few years yet.

We have collaborated on a book of exercises in writing Modernist poetry with Librarians Chris McCabe, Lorraine Mariner and Pascal O’Loughlin. This all ages resource (6+) introduces some of the movements in poetry that the First World War helped introduce to the world, such as Apollinaire’s Calligrammes, Imagism, Vorticism, Surrealism and Dada. It will primarily be used to guide school groups or individuals visiting the Saison Poetry Library off the more familiar paths through war poetry, but hopefully it will have legs far beyond the Royal Festival Hall.

Most of the letter games reference the enormous amount of correspondence between Home and Front; 2 billion letters and 114 million parcels. In keeping with our exhibition, inspired by the recent use of DNA on letters home to identify casualties, the book culminates in a game we devised that takes the rules DNA uses to build our bodies to build a strand of visual poetry that can be split and rewritten by a group. The negotiation and collaboration involved is intended as a contrast to the abuse of language and power that war entails. Just like a human body is built through the writing and reading of base-pairs, solidarity in a body of people is achieve through the honest use of arts and language. The pieces punch out of a die-cut sheet and are assembled as part of the collaborative writing process.

If you are interested in using this resource at the Poetry Library you can just pop in and ask for it, they are free and the Librarians can help. Bigger groups can arrange a visit with Chris McCabe via the form on the Library website. If you are interested in acquiring a batch of these for educational use offsite you can also contact us here directly, or Chris McCabe at the Library.

The Letter Games use simple steps, chance and basic word pairings that enable people of all abilities to do the book solo or as part of a group. So next time it is cold and rainy, remember you have been invited to take your children, spouse or literary best friend up to the Poetry Library and ask them for a Letters Home booklet:

Poetry Library
Level 5
Royal Festival Hall
London SE1 8XX

photographs: Harpreet Kalsi

Letter Game 1: Calligrammes

Letter Game 1: Calligrammes

Letter Game 6: 3D dna poetry

Letter Game 6: 3D DNA poetry

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