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This is a Picture of Wind expands upon a series of short texts written in response to the winter storms which battered south west England in early 2014, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Somerset and the destruction of the seawall and rail line at Dawlish in Devon. Following the news in the months after these storms, writer and artist J.R. Carpenter was struck by the paradox presented by attempts to evoke through the materiality of language a force such as wind which we can only perceive indirectly through its affect. The poems that ensued are gathered in this book, accompanied by an introduction by Johanna Drucker, and a poetic afterword by Vahni Capildeo.
Part poetic almanac, part private weather diary, This is a Picture of Wind attempts to call attention to climate change by picturing through variations in language the disturbances and sudden absences left in the wake of wind.
This is a Picture of Wind was selected as one of The Guardian’s Best poetry books of 2020, and was longlisted for the Laurel Prize 2021. It also features in Derek Beaulieu’s list of ‘most engaging books of 2020′, and is one of Kirsty Dunlop’s picks for SPAM Press’s Deep Cuts 2020. You can read Alison Scott’s extended review of This is a Picture of Wind here. Steve Spence’s review (for Litter) appears here. Click here to read an excerpt from the book. A series of short films, drawing on This is a Picture of Wind, can be viewed here.
J. R. Carpenter is a Canadian-born UK-based artist, writer, and practice-led researcher working across print, performance, and digital media. Her pioneering works of digital literature have been presented in museums and festivals around the world. She is a two-time winner of the CBC Quebec Writing Competition. Her first novel, Words the Dog Knows, won the Expozine Alternative Press Award for Best English Book. Her web-based work The Gathering Cloud won the New Media Writing Prize 2016. Her poetry collection An Ocean of Static was highly commended by the Forward Prizes 2018. luckysoap.com/apictureofwind