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Writing the Picture

Published by Seren

ISBN: 9781854115317

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Writing the Picture is a rare collaboration between a leading photographer and an eminent poet. Even more rare, it is a collaboration in which the poet responds to images, rather than a photographer or artists ‘illustrating’ a poem.

The book has evolved from a previous assignment for the Independent in which Fuller agreed to write about Hurn’s pictures “as long as the ‘captions’ could be poetry”. The result was a group of startlingly good poems which drew upon and illuminated a selection of Hurn’s equally stunning images.

From warm portraits of rural Wales to a drug addict shooting up in London, from a raucous hen night to a moving suite of images of the aftermath of the Aberfan disaster, photographer and poet respond to all aspects of life. The result is such a marvellous and magical meeting of artforms that it is surprising it doesn’t happen more frequently.

"This brave volume offers a proud collaboration between two masters of their chosen arts."
The Independent

John Fuller is a prizewinning poet and novelist. The author of seven collections of poems, most recently Pebble and I (2010), his work is known for a strong humanistic civic note and a formal skill, both of which are to the fore in Writing the Picture. An Emeritus professor at Magdalen College, Oxford, his novel Flying to Nowhere was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

David Hurn is a documentary photographer and member of the Magnum Agency. He is probably best known for the reportage work he began during the 1956 Hungarian uprising, but he has photographed across genres and was prominent in fashionable London during the Sixties. During a shoot to promote the James Bond film From Russia with Love Hurn’s air pistol was used as a prop, inadvertently becoming a Bond symbol. He funded the School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, and is the author of several books including Land of My Father, Living in Wales and the influential guide On Becoming a Photographer.
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