The Art of Wiring

(Ondt & Gracehoper, 2011)


Poems by Christopher Reid, Roisin Tierney, Liane Strauss, Isobel Dixon, Luke Heeley and Simon Barraclough. A sparky selection of poems from six poets, wired into a beautiful multi-circuit pamphlet, published by Ondt & Gracehoper.

The cover photograph is by Simon Barraclough, with design by the late Ron Costley

'Isobel Dixon’s poems have an intense, exploratory feel, chipping away at an idea long enough for it to show its bones. ‘Upopa Epops’ is one such poem, aiming its intense gaze on a bird which, for all its smart “cinnamon-cum-chestnut raiment” is armed with an arsenal of weapons to ensure its survival, including the ability to aim streams of shit at predators. Dixon’s wordplay is joyful here, exposing these “sins” hidden in the sounds of the bird’s own name: “Oop-oop-oops indeed. …But it is ‘Pinball Electra’ and ‘Grasshopper’ where her relentless attention to detail really comes into its own. With the weight of grief behind every word almost crushing, these two poems, with their unwavering focus on details – such as the apparent discovery of a grasshopper in the house of a dying man – are stand-out poems within the collection. I’m not going to spoil it for readers by going over them in detail… You’ll have to seek them out and read them for yourself. …

In summary, serious play is what this pamphlet does. There is a sense of weight throughout The Art of Wiring, from the classy, unpretentious layout to the scale and variety of themes tackled by the writers themselves. It hums with a heavy current, yet in each piece, language is alive and crackling with unexpected connections.’ – Rosie Breese, Sabotage Review