In Uncategorized on May 30, 2011 at 9:24 pm

My book BLACK GARDENS has just been published by Mark Cobley’s RED CEILINGS PRESS. It is available for online consumption and PDF download here. The full Red Ceilings Press catalogue of e-books is here.

BLACK GARDENS began with THE SHADOW OF A TRAIN exhibition/ project at the Totalkunst Gallery in Edinburgh, in June 2010, particularly a day I spent writing in the gallery as Mirja Koponen and Sara Sinclair worked on an installation.

My search for the black gardens was proving unsuccessful...

...failing to locate the public sculpture for which the black gardens were famous...

I decided not to project my writing, so whilst the artists work was public throughout the day, it was the act/image of myself writing that was public rather than the specifics of what I wrote.

I returned to this writing in April 2011. It was edited and new material was introduced. The aim is still a sense of “liveness” traceable to that original event, but this is constructed artificially through a layering of different moments.

... what I discovered was the dust jackets of books practicing yoga...

BLACK GARDENS also unfolded out of The Moth is Moth This Money Night Moth, my 2010 chapbook from The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, which evidenced a concern for page/ space and for the theatrical operation/ permutation/ extension of a deliberately limited vocabulary.

BLACK GARDENS sought to open those concerns to the daily, the diaristic, rhythms of talking and thought, detail and humor. I was interested in how such garrulousness might play with a minimalist focus on the material of  letter, syllable, word and page.

I wanted a minimal that wasn’t solely about order and contemplation, but which also saw the white of the page and its spare utterances as  a site struggling for any articulation, an inelegant falling apart/ out of form and content…

In the refinement of these concerns, BLACK GARDENS also emerged via the page as simultaneously written and spoken.

... and the black gardens to be found within a self conscious melancholy...


A constellation of texts read during the writing of this text, and/or whose reading was prompted by its completion: Rachel Lois Clapham, WORK, HARD, TRY: A (W)reading (Kaleid Editions, 2010). Online pdf here; James Davies, Plants (Reality Street Editions, 2011). See Colin Herd’s review here; Emmett Williams, A Valentine for Noël (Edition Hansjörg Mayer, Stuttgart 1973 – remaindered copies of this and other EW texts have been [May 2011] for sale in the basement of Koenig Books on Charing Cross Road).

Jonathan Williams, Jubilant Thicket: New & Selected Poems (Copper Canyon, 2005)is a vital source for where concrete meets garrulous. See also Craig Dworkin’s Eclipse project, particularly for its PDF’s of books by Aram Saroyan and Robert Grenier.


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