(Sidekick Books, 2017-2018)
This four-book series was funded by Arts Council England. Each title in the series is part anthology of written and visual media, part handbook, part interactive plaything. Public domain material, quotations and factual accounts are juxtaposed with collage, lyric and concrete poetry, and customisable pages with creative prompts, suggesting that readers add drawings, lists, maps and other materials to complete the book.
Contributors were selected through an open call for submissions, and between 20 and 30 artists and writers make up each book. I provided the cover illustrations and worked on the overall design and layout, and devised the structure alongside my Sidekick co-director, Kirsten Irving. Below is a brief illustration of the cover design process for No, Robot, No.
The second book in the series, Bad Kid Catullus was chosen as one of the top 10 poetry anthologies of 2018 by The Guardian and promoted in bookshops nationwide as part of National Poetry Day. It includes modern translations of the Roman poet Catullus: compressed, expanded, bricolaged, as pulp genres and playlists – and fragments of a Catullus karma sutra in concrete poetry.
“... a Catullus gallimaufry, hodgepodge, or debauchery [which] comprises almost anything you could do to a Catullus poem ...” – Peter Riley, The Fortnightly Review
“If you read this book on public transport, you may miss your stop. If you let your friends (or in my case their grown-up children) get their hands on it, you may never see it again. It’s absorbing, visually interesting and massive fun.” – Fiona Moore, Sabotage Reviews
Alongside the first book in the series, Aquanauts, Bad Kid Catullus was used as the basis for a two-month exhibition over two floors of The Poetry Café in Covent Garden, in the winter of 2017-18.
We hosted a series of unusual parties and launches for the books, including an immersive theatre night at a secret location for Aquanauts, a public toga party for Bad Kid Catullus and a library reading with projections for the final book in the series, Battalion. Copies of the books can be ordered directly from the Sidekick Books website.