Friday, 23 March 2012


David Charleston
Shed Press Publications, London.

The introduction to this new book of poems reads “you hold in your hands the very first Shed Press Publication.” This emphasis on the tactile is apt for a book that is, in part, all about hands – hand-bound, hand-printed, even the photographs that accompany the poems are originals, chemically developed in their “Dark Shed”. The result is a truly beautiful object.

The poems themselves speak of the loss of sight “Blindness approaches with such clumsy brushstrokes”.  Descriptions of dusk are accompanied by dimly exposed photographs of fields and trees. You get a sense that something is slowly slipping away, that we are being left with “Next-to-nothing”. But for all this loss, it is the little things that we can revel in all the more, as with the line from Charleston's title poem, "the leaf stuck to my wrist like a small fish/ after bringing in an armful of logs.”

We hope to see more publications soon from this promising new Press.

NEXT-TO-NOTHING is in a limited edition of 102 copies, costs £40 and is available in the bookartbookshop now.

- Jon Lander

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