Peake draws on nature, memory and everyday life to create works that, although concrete in look, are distinct from the hard abstraction of concrete poetry. Comprising 41 works in verse, shape poems and abstract pieces written over a 20-year period, the volume’s design is sensitive to the unique visual look of each poem.
The writing grows from his background as an artist and is in a tradition of painter-poets like Hans Arp, Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee. Peake says that ‘there is an unavoidable parallel between how I build a poem and the way I construct a painting.’
To introduce the book, editors Jeremy Akerman and Eileen Daly discuss with Peake the relationship between art and writing; the poem’s underlying themes and subject matter; as well as poetic form and abstraction.