GAVIN SELERIE: Ekphrasis and Beyond: Visual Art in Poetry


I was a painter before I was a poet, spending much of my time at school in the art block which was the only modern building and provided a degree of quietness and refuge. I was particularly attached to Expressionism: a Nolde-influenced picture won the Public Schools Art Exhibition prize for oil painting in, I think, 1967. Despite occasional drawing, my energies are now diverted elsewhere.

I saw the Hayward exhibition of Nolde’s watercolours in October 1968 and visited Seebüll, the artist’s house in Schleswig, four years later. This was where much of his work was done, including the ‘unpainted pictures’, executed in secret during the years 1941-45 when he was forbidden to paint. Nolde’s work and the surrounding landscape are evoked in ‘Scope’, one of the poems in Azimuth (republished Music’s Duel, p. 19). A painting approach is read back into the conditions which generated it. ‘Untitled’, in the same volume, was inspired by Jackson Pollock’s practice (MD, p. 39). If this text lacks his explosive dynamic, it does have an immediacy of flow. ‘Stump-Work’ (MD, pp. 57-59) concerns the relative truth of nature and art, in this case embroidery. Indentation here may reflect something of the dual context: energies which cannot be contained and raised or embossed figure-work, mysteries and digested fact. ‘What did I do’ (MD, pp. 29-30) begins with boyhood art scratched on a tin box and ends with a circle, or circles, drawn round the base of a wine glass. Whether I was working on a particular graphic or doodling in a notebook, this prompted thoughts about a strict upbringing and the contradictions embodied in two pieces of music by Elgar.

On the whole I have resisted any direct or literal description of paintings. ‘Paris 1912’ (Azimuth/MD, p. 79) was written as a counter-response when a friend tried to encourage me to enter a competition for a poem which describes a painting. The invitation prompted me to use de Chirico’s work as an element in a text which deals with a way of being. It may be partly a love or ‘relationship’ poem but it’s clearly much else. I have always liked Olson’s lines about evading subject-as-such (‘Maximus to Gloucester, Letter 15’). Not an exercise—and unsubmitted—the poem found its place in Azimuth. The title alludes to the place and year in which de Chirico produced his most haunting, disturbing pictures, which feature objects such as a sculpture fragment, banana and train in areas which are otherwise empty or abandoned. This art enigma could be classed as ‘correlative’ to the exploration of language and being, if the term does not imply an avoidance of or mask for the personal. Or if so, the manoeuvre is partly acknowledged. At least, that is how I see it some thirty years later.

‘Tundale’ (Elizabethan Overhang/MD, p. 131) confronts the fallout from permissiveness via Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights and a medieval poem which may be the source for some of its imagery. Written in Connecticut in 1988, it grapples with the threat of AIDS, from a heterosexual perspective, and with the general issue of a culture in which values of the late 1960s are condemned. The ‘we’ at the start applies more to a mass of people than a duo. As well as being aesthetically emblematic, the Bosch triptych, which I did not see in the flesh till I visited the Prado in 1997, is a work referenced in 1960s/70s posters and album covers. I think that the woman with whom I had been staying in New York had a Bosch volume in her bedroom. On a narrower front, the sonnet opposite, ‘Delayed Release’, opens with a glancing reference to Rossetti’s How They Met Themselves, although the doppelgänger motif is applied to a generation or representative couple. I used to meet someone who looked like a Pre-Raphaelite heroine in the Chelsea Drugstore, a location which is not far from Cheyne Walk.

If such a process is simply allusion, I would stress the active quality, by which ‘about’ involves a re-creation. There is both recall and a fresh becoming. Lines 4-7 of ‘Parnassus’ (Tilting Square/MD, p. 138) draw on a picture I saw in Berlin, Ende’s Die Schwebende Mauer (The Floating Wall). Overall the poem concerns creativity, appetite and reputation, and the circles within which these function. Ende’s image suggests tortured aspiration: a possibility of freedom and beauty set against pain and difficulty. I find that my notebook from this period contains a rough sketch of the painting and that I have given the figures a slight upward animation. This may account for the shift by which in the poem, written a few days later, they ‘try to dance’; in the painting they are more static. Whatever, the situation develops within the context of the poem. Ende called his work ‘pre-logical’. In my case there tends to be a confluence of the willed and the unconscious or accidental. But the incorporation of this dramatic image is typical of the way I let particular features into a text.

Roxy, a dialectical consideration of style in its various manifestations, contains many references to visual art, particularly to pictures by Klee. I have written a commentary on the book, Backstory, which circulates in private, and these specific references are detailed, with the proviso that in the text they become something else, their context being subsumed within a broader frame. Hence a feature is transformed so that its original context is often only a shadow or background element. Any mention of source inspiration should not be taken as the key to what is going on; at least that is how it seems to me as author/reader.

Section 20 of Roxy, for instance, references Klee’s paintings Angelus Novus and Twittering Machine, alongside literary and film elements. Section 32 deals with the world as a book but not in the medieval sense. It is a response to several paintings by Klee, with a glance at Mallarmé and Joyce. The pictures are: Composition with Windows (1919), Open Book (1930), Plant Script Picture (1932), Open (1933), and Signs in Yellow (1937). The main focus is on Open Book and Open, which present a riddle of subject/meaning as they explore ‘problems of articulation between complex geometric structures’ (Constance Naurbert-Riser). The static-dynamic opposition is an important element in Tilting Square, and to some extent this section of Roxy is a continuation of my concerns in that book.

During the period of writing section 46 I saw the de Kooning exhibition at the Tate Gallery. As formerly, I was impressed by the tracing and retracing of motifs, by the agglomerative process which includes much scraping away, and by the recreation of flesh through texture in the Woman series. This is relevant to the writing of Roxy over a decade and my text (p. 107) incorporates reference to these procedures and specifically to the (female) genitals-mouth configuration, for instance in Woman—Lipstick (c.1952).

Days of ’49 includes the first of two Francis Bacon poems, ‘Bacon Heads’ (p. 106). The companion-piece, ‘Bacon Dust’, is in Le Fanu’s Ghost (p. 121). These are republished, both on verso pages, in Music’s Duel, pp. 226 and 250. The first deals with the series Heads I-VI and the second with Bacon’s studio, now recreated in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. In each, the concrete structure—including typography—implies a tension between chaos and control, ferocity of energy as against stasis. The tactile, textual qualities of Bacon’s work are presented within single page ‘frames’.

‘Diptych’ (pp. 62-64) uses that form to suggest different but overlapping experiences of the year 1949. Each panel consists of 49 lines, the first reflecting United States culture and the second British. My intention was to have the two parts face one another on a page opening, so that the text could be read down in each or across overall. Because of page and typeface constraints, this could not be realized in the book; however, Alan Halsey and I performed the piece interleaving alternate lines from each at our 60th anniversary reading in London (2009). I did achieve the down or across reading format in various texts from Le Fanu’s Ghost, for instance ‘Ghost Workshop’ and ‘Lyceum Double’ (pp. 275 and 299). These are voiced, with help from Vahni Capildeo, on the CD Performance-Texts. The geometrical forms were, I think, influenced by abstract painting.

Days of ’49 also contains a prose text ‘The Sea of Time and Space’ (pp. 68-70), sparked by the rediscovery of Blake’s painting of that (assumed) name. The piece interleaves description and interpretation of the picture with the story of its re-emergence. I had long been fascinated by this late tempera work, which I first saw in print around 1969 and then in actuality at the 1978 Tate exhibition. Finally, in 1998 I visited Arlington Court to view the painting in situ; I was particularly struck by the weaving imagery which runs all along the bottom and up the right side. The protagonist seems to be confronted with a choice of alternative paths or states of being. While analytical, my text tries to retain the mystery of Blake’s work. It is, I hope, open and tentative in its exploration of sense. Perhaps it embodies the act of finding and a residue of bafflement.

Le Fanu’s Ghost is partly concerned with the Gothic motif of the figure stepping out of the picture (see ‘The Portraits’, pp. 66-70 and ‘Moving Picture’, p. 114). This device, which occurs in J.S. Le Fanu’s work, is given an extra twist by the fact that the writer nicknamed ‘the invisible prince’ was surrounded by ancestral portraits in his Dublin home. The summoning forth of these presences in Le Fanu’s Ghost depended partly on my scrutiny of pictures. For the Le Fanu/Sheridan aspect, I sought out reproductions and some originals kept elsewhere, then visited the house, matching accounts of their location with the actual rooms. To move from people to things, the poem ‘Mizmaze Mizzard’ (p. 115) reflects the shape of Guendolen Ramsden’s cover design for her novel Speedwell, which is referenced on the opposite page. ‘Monody: R.B.S. Death Mask’ (p. 225) evokes the demise of Sheridan, via the mask in Princeton University Library. ‘Erose’ (pp. 239-40) stems partly from a visit to the Surrealism: Desire Unbound exhibition at Tate Modern (2001); it draws on various works displayed, dovetailing that genre/era with Victorian Gothic. ‘Gray Villanelle’ (p. 298) engages with The Picture of Dorian Gray, that is, a fictional portrait which interrogates ‘reality’.

The overall structure and certain individual texts in Le Fanu’s Ghost were influenced by Hiberno-Saxon illuminated manuscripts, which use layered and winding patterns.  Here smaller things are contained within and spread outside the main detail; through tracery one thing continually leads to another. The arrangement and title of ‘Cross Carpet’ (p. 173) acknowledge this debt, although it is starkly modern Gothic in tone. ‘Cavan Cares’, ‘Eccles Variorum’ and ‘Chinks in the Word Machine’ (pp. 199-202, 207-208, 313) offer less literal examples. ‘Casement’ (p. 113) is a window, a controlling frame but also a portrait which contains a key. ‘Cenci Face’ (p. 285) draws on passages which concern the alleged portrait of Beatrice Cenci by Guido in two of Eleanor Le Fanu’s novels, a motif which also appears in her father’s work. The picture haunted Melville, among others (see Pierre and Clarel). Apart from its portrait theme, this poem picks up on references to the film Beatrice Cenci in ‘Voltascope’ (p. 116).

Music’s Duel contains ‘Swimmer’s Wake: 4 Nashscapes’ (p. 235) and ‘Vortex Rerun’ (p. 236) as part of a small sea sequence. The former, as the name suggests, is inspired by four works of Paul Nash: Pyramids in the Sea, The Cliff to the North, Winter Sea, and Totes Meer. A biographical context linking these pictures is indicated in the epigraph. Architectural or geometric forms in the poem reflect Nash’s use of these within a natural setting—land and sea—to create or develop tension. This may be compared with ‘Capriol’ (Azimuth, p. 88), which borrows the six-movement structure of Peter Warlock’s suite to evoke the ‘dancing air’ of a Sussex landscape.

‘Vortex Rerun’, as the endnote explains, was inspired by the two portraits of Sir John Luttrell, probably by Hans Eworth. I saw the one at Dunster Castle with my partner Frances in about 1997. Then I saw the one held by the Courtauld Institute in 1999. It used to be thought that the Dunster version is the original but the order has now been convincingly reversed. I drew useful information on their allegorical implications from an essay by Frances Yates. The portrait may have been inspired by Luttrell’s service during the war with Scotland when he commanded the English garrison on the beleaguered isle of Inchcolm and experienced near-shipwreck when being evacuated. Subsequently Luttrell died at Greenwich when about to embark on another expedition. The Dunster estate then passed to his brother Thomas, who may be depicted in the face on the coffin (Dunster version). This poem is a sonnet, prefaced by the English inscription on the rock.

My art master knew Henry Moore and took me to visit his studio at Much Hadham. ‘Bone Metallic’ (MD, p. 276) stems from this experience and from seeing The Atom in Chicago the year after I left school. I retain vivid memories of the maquettes in the studio and the huge plaster casts scattered across a sloping field behind the house. The latter, considerably weathered and still showing green deposits, were in some ways more impressive than the bronze versions. Moore came from Castleford, mining territory, and fought in World War I. The poem is in the shape of a grenade or skull. It takes in Moore’s sculptures of the female form but is equally concerned with male experience. The last two lines bring in his shelter drawings from World War II.

Alan Halsey’s Moore poem in Days of ’49, ‘A Brussels Newspaper’ (p. 65), is a concrete text made from a deleted entry in one of my ‘Raised Documents’. The poem dramatizes and develops a division already indicated in the Royal Academy anecdote (pp. 51-52). Sticking with the exact word order of the found text, Alan brings out both the adventurousness of Moore’s art and the absurdity of the Brussels critique. The language plane becomes fully sculptural. Our collaboration over the years has been aided by common enthusiasms. Another instance is Klee’s work, which has touched our writing in obvious and less overt ways.

Recently, as a tribute to Robert Vas Dias, who shares my interest in Picasso, I wrote ‘la lampe’, about the 1931 painting of that name. The picture was begun around the date when Robert was born. It depicts one of the artist’s sculptures, making it a relevant object for exploration in another art form. This is probably the closest I have come to pure description of a painting, but other cultural features from that year are incorporated, and the poem is about Picasso and Marie-Thérèse Walter as well as the work (this being evidently a veiled record of their affair). In the festschrift volume, Entailing Happiness, the two parts (14 and 17 lines, making  31) are arranged as a page opening.

I have written other texts which concern visual art, but the above comments provide some indication of continuing engagement and variety of approach. My habit of overlay and juxtaposition of different perspectives may be partly attributable to Cubism. Another general influence is theatre design, an area in which many painters have been involved. Fields of art other than writing are reference points in the cultural landscape, but more specifically they can generate a fresh approach to material. More than subject-matter or context for imitation, they offer ways of thinking, seeing, hearing that may be absorbed and converted in poetic terms. Such re-creation is usually most fruitful when oblique.

The sequence Southam Street (1985-86/MD, p. 109-118) draws on Roger Mayne’s photographs from 1956-61 while also including direct observation and dialogue, the latter being a mix of response and overheard comment. Mayne’s pictures served as a simultaneously animated and frozen historic base, and they helped to create a double time perspective. Southam Street is dedicated to him. The text has, in one sense, gone full circle, in that it is quoted, in garbled prose form, on the Notting Hill History Timeline website. Documentary, for a poet, exists in relation to the imaginative. Photographs, along with Film, provide a significant dimension in Days of ’49. The Halsey/Selerie talk Collaboration/”Days of ‘49” at King’s College (2000) includes some account of this. Picture Post, in original print form, was a particularly useful resource.

On the issue of intersection between the visual and verbal, I have frequently used illustrations to accompany text, usually as section dividers. Alan Halsey did these for Azimuth and Le Fanu’s Ghost, with some prior and ongoing dialogue. I did the cover designs for many of the rest of my books, including hand-drawn lettering for Elizabethan Overhang. The section illustrations for Tilting Square form a developing series, reflecting transitional structures, romantic, familial and artistic. The shifting aspect of the pyramid/square was inspired by Paul Klee’s theories, as set out in Notebooks volume 1: The Thinking Eye (see, for example, p. 39). Alan’s and my illustrations for Days of ’49, mostly collage work, create a relevant field, rather than being specifically descriptive. I was hampered here by reliance upon photographs and lack of any digital facility, whereas Alan realized the potential of zinc block illustrations, which reproduce better and give a greater sense of period (see, for instance, pp. 17 and 98). But variety of approach was essential to the project. The predominance of black in my photomontage is a stylist habit which reflects a fondness for Gothic and certain elements of Constructivism. As will be evident from some of the books in which I have had input or exercised control, I have a preference for fatter but still elegant typefaces.

After Roxy I was involved in a collaborative response to the earliest known illustration of a printing press, in a Danse Macabre sequence printed by Matthias Hus (1499). This woodcut shows three Death-figures summoning printers from their work at case, press and bookshop. A grim scenario is rendered slightly humorous by the clownish facial expressions of Death. One background context in 1997 was the threatened displacement of print by a digital medium. However, Alan Halsey’s section makes effective use of the layout possibilities offered by recent software, with fragments aligned at different angles across the page. My segment, which deals particularly with letterpress procedures, uses a long line, recalling 16th century narrative poetry as well as Smart and Blake. This caused some problems with the typesetting of the volume, which nevertheless looks handsome enough. Each poet draws detail from the cut, bringing personal and contemporary features to bear on the subject. Parts of the Selerie ‘quarter’ are reprinted in Music’s Duel (pp. 198-99), where there is an overlap with the poems which follow (pp. 202-203).

The material I read as a boy, whether ‘classic’ or more ephemeral, tended to involve a combination of words and pictures. In addition to contemporary books, I absorbed those which had formed part of my parents’ childhood collections. The latter were particularly striking, including my favourite, Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates, a 1921 folio volume. I allude to this and others in a poem for Lee Harwood, ‘Deep Clearance’ (Uplift: a samizdat/MD, p. 308). They continue to affect my sense of how words behave, along with the illustrated matter I have since acquired, such as Renaissance emblem books.

In the 1970s I did research on the iconography underlying seventeenth century poetry and drama. This entailed moving between the literal incorporation of pictorial matter in writers such as Cartari and texts which project or imply the visual through bare writing. Plays such as Cymbeline or The Winter’s Tale occupy a middle ground in this respect, having a physical setting and potential décor while relying primarily on the word. (I cite these examples because they involve specific references to visual art.) An unillustrated work which still serves as an index of visual suggestion is Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which I bought around 1970. Despite a certain unwieldiness of form, the language has tremendous resonance. I knew some of these myths as a child and encountered the odd extract from Ovid in Latin lessons, but it is via Golding—and to a lesser extent George Sandys, whose version is illustrated—that I have come to appreciate the potential for story, person and scene to turn from one state to another. Ovid in fact offers a model for a confluence of forms, in the aesthetic as well as the literal sense.

From an early age I have been keenly aware of the spatial qualities of words and I treat the text on the page as a kind of picture. Sound, naturally, is part of this deployment: the charting of a score. I was much influenced by an exhibition of Russian Futurist books at the British Museum (i.e. Library) in 1978. I was impressed by the totality of design: the integration of text and graphic, even—or especially—where linguistic structures are dislocated. This led to an investigation of the Constructivist concepts of faktura (the texture or material properties of an object) and tektonika (spatial presence). Much later I attended the exhibition of Russian Avant-Garde Books, a continuation of the previous one, at the British Library in 1994. There were parallels between these kinds of working of the material and medieval/early modern practice.

In addition to page openings and the layout of individual texts, I tend to construct books as linked units, with intertwining motifs, serial resonance and an overall architecture. Such patterns probably follow from my training as a visual artist, although again there is a musical dimension. I tend to be eclectic in focus and sometimes there is a struggle to achieve consistency. Glenn Storhaug, who typeset Le Fanu’s Ghost, occasionally had to tone down zany typographical features, while remaining faithful to my basic design. As indicated in the King’s Talk (2000), Glenn has been crucial to the realization of several projects of which I was author or co-author.

Lastly, on a personal note, I had two long-lasting romantic relationships with artists during the 1970s and 1980s and no doubt this left its mark. To shift back to earlier influences, my mother was keenly interested in visual art, cinema and music. One of her brothers was an artist and architect. Her maternal grandfather and uncle were instructors at the School of Art Wood-Carving, South Kensington. Panels and frames by the former are reproduced in his obituary tribute in Arts & Crafts Magazine (1904). The latter co-wrote An Introduction to Decorative Woodwork (1936). Featuring foliage, humans, birds and animals, some fabulous, their work embraced both the functional and the decorative. Construction of such patterned units has some analogy with the writer’s craft.

Gavin Selerie



This essay was written in response to an open invitation from David Kennedy to comment on the use of ekphrasis in contemporary British poetry. One aspect listed was the writer’s own experience. I have gone beyond the strict definition of ‘ekphrasis’, but I think the related areas are relevant. The piece reached David too late to be considered for his book The Ekphrastic Encounter in Contemporary British Poetry and Elsewhere (Ashgate, forthcoming 2012).

Works cited:

a) Gavin Selerie:

Azimuth (Binnacle Press, 1984)

Elizabethan Overhang (Spectacular Diseases, 1989)

Southam Street (New River Project, 1991; first published, in slightly shorter form, Kite, 1: Winter 1986-87)

Tilting Square (Binnacle Press, 1992)

Roxy (West House Books, 1996)

Danse Macabre: Death & the Printers, with Kelvin Corcoran, Alan Halsey & David Annwn (Ispress & West House Books, 1997)

Days of ’49, with Alan Halsey (West House Books, 1999)

Le Fanu’s Ghost (Five Seasons Press, 2006)

Music’s Duel: New and Selected Poems 1972-2008 (Shearsman Books, 2009)

Collaboration/”Days of ‘49” at King’s College, with Alan Halsey (Solaris video, 2000)

Sixtieth Birthday Reading [Leather Exchange, London] CD, with Alan Halsey (Optic Nerve, 2009)

Performance-Texts 2CD (Binnacle, 2011)

b) Other authors

Butcher, Maggie ed., Entailing Happiness: friends of Robert Vas Dias celebrate his eightieth birthday (Infinity Press, 2010)

Grimwood, Herbert H. & Goodyear, Frederick, An Introduction to Decorative Woodwork (University of London Press, 1936)

Hulley, Karl & Vandersall, Stanley ed., Ovid’s Metamorphosis Englished, mythologized, and represented in figures by George Sandys [1632] (University of Nebraska Press, 1970)

Klee, Paul, tr. Ralph Manheim, Notebooks, vol. 1: The Thinking Eye (Lund Humphries, 1961)

Naurbert-Riser, Constance, Klee (Studio Editions, 1988)

Olson, Charles, The Maximus Poems (Jargon/Corinth Books, 1960)

Pyle, Howard, Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates (Harper & Brothers, 1921)

Rouse, W.H.D. ed., Shakespeare’s Ovid: Being Arthur Golding’s Translation of the Metamorphoses (Centaur Press, 1961)

Rowe, Eleanor, ‘Modern English Woodcarvers 1: The Late W.H. Grimwood’, in Arts & Crafts Magazine, vol. 2 (1904)

Scanlon, Patricia & Weston, Timothy ed., Uplift: a samizdat for Lee Harwood (Artery Editions, 2008)

Yates, Frances, ‘The Allegorical Portraits of Sir John Luttrell’, in D. Fraser et al., Essays in the History of Art Presented to Rudolf Wittkower (Phaidon, 1967)

See link for sample texts discussed above

Gavin Selerie-Sample Poems

Gavin Selerie reads two of the poems from the above at:

Gavin Selerie: Bio-Note

Born London, 1949, of Italian and Anglo-Scottish ancestry. Father’s family involved with the wine trade and restaurants (Soho); mother’s with mining, woodwork and architecture. Keen interest in poetry and the visual arts from an early age. Father had passages from the Rubáiyát and Mort d’Arthur by heart—emphasis on recitation, both at home and at school. Similar commitment to theatre, cinema and various forms of song. (Two ancestors born in Drury Lane.) Educated (formally) at Haileybury, 1962-1967. Latin exercises affected later writing practice, particularly use of syntax and telescoped perception/representation. Long-distance runner and fencer (foreshadowing aspects of poetry technique). Artistic impulse initially found outlet in painting and guitar-playing. Frequented the Marquee Club and Tiles as a teenager; sustained experience of electric blues. Became interested in the Beats, particularly Kerouac. Main academic subject: History. Spent most of 1968 in North America. Bought Donald Allen’s The New American Poetry in Old Town, Chicago in March 1968 and this became a prime measure of possibility. Law scholar, Oxford University; switched area of study, graduating in English (1971). Much engaged with radical politics and the counterculture. Continuing exposure to experimental cinema, music and writing, via, for example, the London Film Co-op and Compendium Books. Subsequently attended Sussex and York universities. Wrote thesis on Renaissance drama and philosophy. Tension between academic track and creative work, although the guidance of Philip Brockbank proved worthwhile (‘Opposition is true Friendship’). Lived outside York from 1973 to 1978 before moving back to London. Witnessed discovery of Roman, Viking and Anglo-Saxon remains during the Coppergate excavation, York. Did workshops with the Living Theatre at the Roundhouse. Settled in Ladbroke Grove, where Azimuth was completed. Edited The Riverside Interviews and published poems, still influenced by the procedures of Charles Olson and Edward Dorn. This essentially Poundian practice was subsequently mediated through contact with ‘Language’ work. Involved with the London poetry scene over a long period, from the King’s College readings organized by Eric Mottram and the early days of SubVoicive through to the more recent Contemporary Poetics Research Centre. Met partner, the poet Frances Presley, through this network. Now lives in Willesden Green where mother’s family was based from 1880s to 1935. Strong affinity with the landscape of north-west London and its environs. Formerly taught Literature and Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. Has given various readings in North America, most extensively in 1988. Travelled to Egypt, going as far south as Abu Simbel (1990). Le Fanu’s Ghost (2006) contains Gothic and comic material, taking in the work of the Le Fanu and Sheridan family circle(s). Works to a long time-scale: travels in Ireland during the 1970s and in 1995 bore fruit, textually, in the new millennium. Current project, Hariot Double, involves a pairing of the lives and work of Thomas Hariot, mathematician, astronomer and adventurer, and Joe Harriott, Jamaican saxophonist, with focus on the New World and London.


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