Monday, October 02, 2017


If you had the pleasure of reading Thirty Poets Go To The Gym, the witty, inventive suite of poems which George Szirtes gradually posted on his Facebook page (they're no longer online) you may have seen his recent notice that they are soon going to be published as a small book

What you probably didn't see is a comment I made on his page when, one by one, he began writing and posting these gems, that if they were ever to be in a book, I'd love to illustrate them.

Well, an independent Press has taken it on, George recommended me as illustrator, et voilĂ ! I've just finished this very enjoyable task and, in due course, publication will be announced. No sneak previews until then.

The poems are funny in a seriously skilful way, adopting the style of each of the dead poets chosen by George for their imagined visit to a gym -  not unlike a stand-up comic impersonating famous people's voices - but taking on the much more difficult challenge of inventing a poem they might (in self-parodying mood) have written, using precisely the structure, the cadences belonging recognisably to each of those poets. Recognisable, that is, to those very well versed in poetry's lexicon, which I cannot pretend to be. My illustrations are what I felt was the deadpan comic-serious-literal-quirky-possible-impossible mood created by the poems.

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