Sunday, 20 January 2013

Hurricane Butter

Hurricane Butter by Sophie Herxheimer is a pamphlet of poems and ink drawings exploring themes of food, family, fertility, womanhood, motherhood...

Butteriness runs through every page. In the words, which describe yellow foods, yellow suns. In the design of the pages, laid out in multiple yellow hues.
The title speaks loudly for the poems within. Butter is slick, sickly, smothering, it is too much, it bowls you over and obliterates you like a hurricane.

Herxheimer writes about the characters of her childhood. The mothers, with their rich meals and ample bosoms. The fathers, with their moustaches, and hats, and booming laughs. Their simple conservative values, that see the world in uncomplicated shades of separation, where "Dogs are dogs and cats are cats".

She mourns the loss of her god-like mother. Out of her death, memories surge forth. She cooks in an attempt to become her, to revive her through some unknown magic held in the contents of a b├ęchamel sauce.

The drawings add an immediacy to the words. They drip with ink. Like the lines of her poems, the brush strokes are seeking something, they do not know where they may end up before they begin. This little book is an adventure into the heart of it's author.

Hurricane Butter costs £6 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. You can visit her website at

- Jon Lander

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