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.
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.
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.
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.