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“Voraciously experimental, precociously accomplished.” Poetry International

“Multifaceted, mega-fabricated, louche architecture.” Magma

Jon is a writer, editor and researcher who specialises in hybrid and chimeric works: rough fusions of form and genre. His poems often concern, or embody, the intermeshing of organic and constructed, human and non-human, real and unreal. They are frequently game-like, remade from fragments of other works, or take the form of micro-fantasies and intimate examinations.

Poetry London have called him a “poet of fantastic inversions”, but such inversions are just one way of rethinking the poem as an object of readerly play and investigation. His work has been published in The Sunday Times and performed on BBC Radio 4, as well as appearing in a number of British and international journals. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012 and the Poetry London prize in 2014 and 2016.

He edits multi-author books that muddle the genre of the poetry anthology with handbooks, catalogues, guides and treasuries. He has also published academic papers in the field of game studies. A monograph, Dual Wield: The Interplay of Poetry and Videogames, is due out in late 2021 from DeGruyter.

Birdbook Quartet
(Sidekick Books, 2010-2016)

The Birdbook series was put together over six years and was initially self-financed, with Arts Council England funding the second two volumes. Each book is an anthology of newly commissioned poetry and illustration that collects one poem and accompanying image for each distinct species of bird. Organised by geographical region (Towns, Parks, Gardens and Woodland; Freshwater Habitants; Farmland, Heathland, Mountain, Moorland; Saltwater and Shore), the complete set covers every UK species, fluctuations and borderline cases permitting. Kirsten Irving and I served as commissioning editors over the entire run.

This was our first large-scale project at Sidekick Books, and part of a conscious strategy to package up contemporary poetry in a form that appealed to an audience with differing priorities. Two of the volumes sold out of their first run and have since been reprinted. The cover artwork was provided by papercut artist Lois Cordelia, based on rough outlines we suggested. I contributed the overall design and typesetting, as well as a single poem in each book. Nightjar, which I wrote for the third volume, won the Poetry London Prize in 2014.

The project was featured in BBC Wildlife magazine and promoted with a series of live readings. As well as being stocked in bookshops, the books have been sold at conservation centres and wildlife reserves, including the Walthamstow Wetlands Centre, seen below.

They can be bought individually directly from the Sidekick Books website, where there is also a full list of contributing writers and artists.

More projects

Poems

On Toys

Ludokinetic
Literature

Sandsnarl

Unravelanche

School
of Forgery

I could kiss, say,

Headbooks

Scarecrows

Hybardrids

Tomboys

Birdbooks

Super Treasure
Arcade

Death Daydream
Season

Sidekick Books

Core Samples

Riotous

Superminis

The
Mechamorphoses

site by jon