Found Poetry & Text Art Workshops

It’s been a great summer, and I’ve loved developing my Found Poetry & Text Art workshops. Working with lovely groups in Shrewsbury and Hay-on-Wye has been an absolute joy, and I’ll be repeating these classes on a regular basis.

In the class we get creative with words, making poems, stories and our own artwork out of book pages and magazines. Using drawing and collage, I demonstrate simple techniques to help you read between the lines and work with text on a new level. Here are some photos from previous sessions:

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The next workshop is on Friday 9th September in Shrewsbury, full details and booking information is on eventbrite. I hope to see you there or at a future workshop! Keep an eye on the events page for new dates.

What previous students have said:

“ I found pleasure in bringing pictures to old forgotten words “

“ Combining the words with images was very relaxing, the workshop opened my mind to new ideas and flow”

“Fun and fascinating! Emily is a very enabling tutor”

“Pleasantly destructive! Cutting up old books is rather thrilling”

“Time just flew, I really enjoyed Emily’s delivery and her fabulous ideas for starting points”

“I really enjoyed that, Im going to take my work home and frame it!” 

“Lots of fun and a kind of magic, I could do this all day!” 

Book Cover Beauty

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Over the last four months, I’ve been working away on three commissions for poetry book covers.

Thirza Clout is the first poet in the UK to be published by Mark Time Books (founded in Australia by Ross Donolon). Her pamphlet The Bone Seeker has been described as “honest, tender, fierce and with a gallows humour, journeying through a child’s life in a family so nuclear it breaks your heart”. To reflect the themes of Thirza’s poetry, I wanted to use something from her childhood in the artwork. After experimenting with photographs, precious books, hand-me-down textiles and a much loved teddy bear, we settled on a school photograph collaged onto a background texture.

Here’s some of the lovely feedback I had from Thirza and Ross:

“I knew Emily would come up with something creative for the cover of my first chap book because I’d commissioned her after admiring her work – the fact she was utterly professional, stuck to deadlines and was a pleasure to work with were bonuses. I shall certainly be going back to her!”
– Thirza Clout

“As founder of Mark Time Books, I was delighted with the cover artwork provided by Emily for the 2016 book by Thirza Clout, The Bone Seeker. This is the first Mark Time U.K. book and it was especially important to have a cover that both complimented the fine poetry and acted as a flagship for Mark Time. The title and poet’ name strike the reader at first glance and can be clearly read by a prospective buyer. The classic school photograph is presented in a slightly ragged way over the uneven white brush strokes. The effect is to suggest that there is something not quite o.k. and works well with the disturbing title. Mark Time Books would be more than happy to use the work of this talented artist again.”
– Ross Donlan

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The next cover to be brought into the world was local author Paul Francis‘ self-published collection Five String Banjo. The ‘five strings’ to Paul’s bow are sonnets, real lives, politics, performance and miscellany. Poet liz Lefroy says “In 5-string Banjo, Paul Francis shows himself to be a master of rhythm, rhyme and engrossing narratives. Pick up this book, hold it to your ear, and listen to it beat.” 

For Paul’s cover artwork, I worked with an abstraction of the banjo shape. As a textiles lover I felt it important to use real strings, and my inner texture junkie had fun working subtle fragments of newspapers into the background to reflect Paul’s political leanings!

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Lastly, my artwork for this year’s Wenlock Poetry Festival (called Wenlock Time) has been featured on the 2016 anthology cover (published by Fair Acre Press). The image was inspired by Much Wenlock’s town clock, and thinking about how the festival curates such fantastic contemporary poetry in a historic setting. The anthology is now available from Wenlock Books, and will also be available at the festival bookstand on the 23 and 24 April. If you haven’t booked tickets yet, what on earth are you waiting for?

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From May 2016 I’ll be taking on more commissions for book covers, so do get in touch if you’d like to discuss a project. I offer a sliding scale of pricing for self-published authors, small presses and larger publishers.

 

New material

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This week sees me piecing together fragments, little remnants of my shoe-making and some text found in a second hand book about magnolias and rhododendrons. The beginnings of something new methinks. I also went to a talk in Ludlow last night by Imogen Goldsmith-Du Fours, which was about Bohemian apparel and lifestyle. Imogen shared this wonderful poem by Rimbaud which has got me thinking about rustling stars and all kinds of tactile goodness…enjoy.

My Bohemia
A Fantasy

And so off I went, fists thrust in torn pockets
Of a coat held together by no more than it’s name.
O Muse, how I served you beneath the blue;
And oh what dreams of dazzling love I dreamed!

My only pair of pants had a huge hole.
–Like some dreaming Tom Thumb, I sowed
Rhyme with each step. My inn was the Big Dipper.
–My stars rustled in the sky.

Roadside on warm September nights
I listened as drops of dew fell
On my forehead like fortifying wine;

And there, surrounded by shadows, I rhymed
Aloud, and as if they were lyres, plucked the laces
Of my wounded shoes, one foot beneath my heart.

 – Rimbaud

New collage pieces

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Detail from Intimacy With Moonlight and Precious (2014)

Warm pinks delicately compliment Indian handmade paper.

                    A circular rust mark on a piece of muslin becomes the moon,
                    words emerge to bask in it’s light.

Fragments of an ancient language are preserved,

                                                                revered,

                                                                      made precious. 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
These pieces are both available to buy in my new folksy shop