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Latest acquisitions April 2018

Welcome to a new strand of National Poetry Library news where we’ll give you the downlow on some of our most interesting recent acquisitions.

Signed limited editions

After light / photography by Paula Naughton ; text by Nancy Campbell
[London : AMBruno, 2009]

Only one of eleven signed copies by UK Canal Laureate Nancy Campbell, this scroll of poems is a meditation on light. It responds to Naughton’s photographs of a disused house in Ireland and riffs on the science behind the invisible forces in our lives. Hidden within the accompanying glass slides are five additional concrete poems in the form of ‘poetic equations’.

About After light

All about beds

You wait for a bed to come along, then two come at once… we’ve new intriguing items on the subject of beds. In a handmade limited edition artists’ book by award-winning printer Danny Flynn, a couple have an absurd conversation about a bed, whilst stills from Simon Aeppli’s short film create a visual record of handwritten messages from the elderly lady next door, convinced his mother is trying to seduce her son.

The bed and 'it' collapsed / bed illustration by Abigail Edgar ; booklet & text by Danny Flynn
[London] : Burning Book Press, 1999

Come and see the bed / Simon Aeppli
[Farnham, Surrey] : bookRoom Press, 2011


In January and February 2018 the National Poetry Library received donations from the following collections that filled gaps in our holdings or replaced lost books; the libraries of Reeve Burrell, John Horder and June Wedgwood Benn. We are grateful to their families and friends for thinking of us. Particular highlights from each collection are:
Longshore drift : a radio-poem / Katrina Porteous ; linocuts by James Dodds.  
Published:    [Wivenhoe, Colchester] : Jardine Press, 2005

A beautiful fine press edition of a radio poem by Katrina Porteous with linocuts by James Dodds, printed by James Dodds’ Jardine Press. This book is a love letter to the Aldeburgh beach and its dying fishing trade.

Donated by the family and friends of the late Mr. Reeve Burrell 

About Jardine Press

Botteghe Oscure, XV, 1955 

Botteghe Oscure was a literary journal, published and edited in Rome from 1948 until 1960, named after via delle Botteghe Oscure, where the editorial office was located. The review was published twice a year with poetry and prose in five languages and each issue included an exciting list of writers which makes them very collectable. This issue includes a poem by Jenny Joseph who was a friend June Wedgwood Benn whose family donated the journal to us.

From the library of June Wedgwood Benn.

First editions

Iliad of broken sentences / Rosemary Tonks 
Published:    London : The Bodley Head, 1967  

We are lucky enough to have two copies of the first edition of Rosemary Tonks Iliad of broken sentences which became hugely collectable after she withdrew from literary life and refused to allow her poems to be reprinted. But to now also have a signed Rosemary Tonks in the collection is quite a thrill. The inscription reads: “5.20 vi June 1969, John, love and understanding, from Rosemary”. The word “understanding” is underlined.
From the John Horder Bequest, donated by his family and the Friends of Highgate Library.