During the lockdown of 2020/21 poet Astrid Alben and graphic designer Zigmunds Lapsa worked closely together on Little Dead Rabbit
, a book-length poem that is part adult fairy-tale, part concrete poem about a little dead rabbit the poet found on the verge of a road. Ostensibly a poem about death, the small corpse is equally a meditation on healing and joy. Lapsa is known for his handmade designs and for this book he made a series of inventive, abstract die-cuts that weave into and around the gasps and gaps of language. This creates an inescapable interplay between text and image, changing and challenging the direction of reading at every page-turn. Alben’s poems are inventive, bizarre and dynamic, and go looking for the elastic extremities of language. She was born in the Netherlands but moved to England at a young age. Forever attempting to get a grip on the bilingual brain, Alben wrote Little Dead Rabbit
at the same time as the Dutch version, Klein dood konijn
. Other works include Ai! Ai! Pianissimo
(2011) and Plainspeak
(2019). Little Dead Rabbit
is meant for poetry lovers (including young readers) and anyone fascinated by the interplay between text and image.