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The Unmapped book contains the full collection of the poems alongside beautiful photographs of the paintings and other images of the work being made. Each poem is presented next to its corresponding painting, in a faithful reproduction of the exhibition layout: a tangible and permanent record of the project for you to own.
The book also contains full background information to the project and the artists.
'It is also available to buy from J & G Innes on South Street in St. Andrews during StAnza, and from the RGI Kelly Gallery during the exhibition dates.
If you would prefer to pay by cheque, or for international orders, please contact email@example.com
Critical response from poet and translator Anna Crowe:
This rich and complex interplay of voice and landscape questions and celebrates the transitory and evanescent. Complementing Anna King's unpeopled, delicately luminous paintings, Rebecca Sharp's poems evoke buried layers of human existence from the no-man's-land that lies between urban and rural – waste ground, former industrial estate, motorway embankment, derelict tower block. Life, she suggests, is being continually erased and re-created from these between-places, where
Ink from the stairwell
bleeds into a boy;
ghosts in the close
clutter the place like words for grey.
These are the closing lines of 'Vespertine', whose title suggests an ambiguous, crossing-over time. In the poem that follows, 'White', she will declare,
Ghost in the close:
you were never there.
The evanescent, shifting quality of these landscapes is underpinned by the poet's skilful use of line-breaks, suggestive of the ambiguities of time and place:
We are deafened by the pitch of never,
the tilt of a gas drum against another
layer of sky.
Permanence, of a sort, is rescued against the odds from impermanence, yet the strength and tension of these poems come from the intrinsic contradictions they contain. In 'Vanitas', for example, the precision and colour of lines like 'Copper on the wall / late summer roses' are immediately called into question:
The forest at the back of the cul-de-sac:
did it exist?
The poems continually question, hedge themselves in brackets, revise, go back on their tracks, offering the reader places where identities shift and cross over, where borrowed lives can strive for understanding like striking flint for fire. Their insubstantiality is evoked in spare, precise, yet delicate imagery: in 'Day one', the speaker questions what she sees, haunting her own landscape to heart-breaking effect:
you were never there.
The house is already for sale
and we haven't lived there yet.
We were always somewhere else,
waiting to appear.
Impossible not to be moved by these restless, shifting poems with their precise yet tender observation of decay and disrepair, absence and a longing for certainty, where '[h]olding your hand feels like a street-plan, / a guide to the surface of the earth', or where we 'ignite our limitations - /hail the light and name it/and silhouette the rest.' This is a beautifully balanced work, a collection that is both unnervingly strange yet also life-affirmingly human.
Used with permission © Anna Crowe,