Indifferent Cresses (National Trust, 2018)
Written in the woods in the weeks leading up to Midsummer’s Day, Indifferent Cresses is a book of pressings, poems and pockets, taking its title from Hannah More’s complaint that women’s writing has long been dismissed as unwitting, the product of overnight accident or someone else’s good gardening and garnering as much praise as a salad. This is a book of undergrowth, in all senses. Commissioned in partnership with Trust New Art as part of the National Trust’s Women and Power programme, this bright and strange herbarium of various ‘cresses’ – from the Hairy Bittercress to the haunting scream of the Wood Ear – is the culmination of a residency in the Tyntesfield plantation and records all the brilliance and violence of spring, inviting the reader to add to the compost and make the book their own.
‘Sweet Woodruff’, from Indifferent Cresses, has appeared on Caught by the River and was also recorded for BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme, first broadcast on the autumn equinox, Sunday 23 September 2018 as part of an exchange of harvest gifts with The Ethicurean and presenter Andi Oliver. You can listen to the full programme online and a cutting of the cress here.
46pp, French-folded, hand finished. Numbered edition of 500. Fifteen poems and field notes, with pressed specimens. Commissioned by Tyntesfield, National Trust and Trust New Art as part of Women and Power 2018. Images © Jono Lewarne, City Edition Studio
Featured in the Poetry Book Society’s Autumn Reading. Members of the Poetry Book Society can order from the autumn bulletin to receive 25% discount.