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Tom Phillips (1937-2022)

We are saddened to hear of the death of artist, poet and polymath, Tom Phillips. In 2015 we hosted 'Illuminated Tweets', an exhibition exploring the development of Tom's project A Humument through new media. As recently as October this year, Tom had approved a loan to the NPL of a studio edition of his new work Humbert which was displayed as part of our Open Day.

In 2012 our head librarian Chris McCabe wrote a feature on Tom Phillips for Poetry Review, writing: 'The artworld is comfortable with embracing the entirety of Phillips's work as art, so why should the poetry world... not embrace him as a poet? Working with a language condensed with Pound's metrical emphasis on the syllable, Phillips's concentrated allusiveness is easily read within the tradition of Modernism.' 

Here at the NPL we see Tom Phillips as a luminary amongst contemporary poets, spotlighting the incredible work that can be created from found and erased texts. The 17 publications in our collection, published between 1971 and 2022, are testament to this and we welcome you to explore them on your next visit. 

Tom's website

Tom's postcard poem in our online collection