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Hercules Editions is an independent press combining poetry and prose with art and archival material, to create beautiful small books and prints. We’re based in Lambeth, the site of artist-poet William Blake’s last home and printing works in Hercules Road.

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Silents

by Claire Crowther

 

Claire Crowther is a poet who is constantly breaking new ground with her innovative and genre-defying style. In Silents her subject is early cinema, the strange and wordless shadow world of gestures and expressions, populated by witches and vampyres, and impresarios such as Edison and Artaud. The poems provide a script for and a dialogue with the world of silent film, using as a springboard its marginalized figures, and the dawn of modernism. The book is illustrated by stills Crowther has selected from the Ronald Grant Archive, a fascinating collection of film memorabilia housed in an old Lambeth workhouse. A foreword by the author explores her fascination with the dark archives of cinema history, while an essay by the writer and broadcaster Kevin Jackson places these films into the larger context of modernist practice.

“There is something locked down in a face in a silent film. It is the physical human voice. This forces the viewer to speak for what she is watching. The silent film viewer becomes a witness.” Claire Crowther

Praise for Claire Crowther

“Crowther writes about female situations, experiences and especially relationships better than any other poet I can name.” Emily Hasler on ‘Mollicle’, Warwick Review, March 2011

 

“A minor revelation – an almost outrageously blessed ravelling of traditional form and contemporary subject.”
David Morley on ‘Incense’, Poetry Review, Autumn 2011

 

“While her poems can be crystal-clear, more often they are riddling, veering, mysterious; deadly serious or quietly funny.” Richard Price on ‘The Clockwork Gift’, Times Literary Supplement, October 16, 2009

 

“Very few poets create their own unique world. Claire Crowther does, and it’s all the more rich and strange for being made of language. She’s one of the most original and imaginative poets now writing.” Matthew Francis on ‘The Clockwork Gift’, 2008

 

“Claire Crowther’s poetry feels quiet and studied, with that curiously European sensibility, an understanding that poems can be deeply intimate, speaking as it were to one person only, yet broadly discursive and abstract at the same time.” Jane Holland on ‘Stretch of Closures’, Poetry Review, Summer, 2007

Published in a limited first edition of 300, signed by the author. 48pp, W125 x H140mm, black and white throughout. First edition signed by the author. ISBN 9780957273832. Published 2016

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