Sarah Hymas’s latest pamphlet is called In Good Weather the Sign Outside Reads Danger Quicksand and I am lucky enough to be reviewing it. Sarah is no stranger to making interesting, playful pamphlets. Her pamphlet Lune was produced in 2012 and was Runner Up for Best Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2013
Since 2003 Sarah has been published in various magazines, including: New Writing 15, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry Wales, Warwick Review, Washington Square Review, Stand, Tadeeb, Keystone, Iota, Staple, Tears in the Fence, Rain Dog, The Leeds Guide, Orbis, Agenda, The Slab, Smiths Knoll, Shadowtrain, Cadenza, Raconteur.
© S. Hymas 2014
Sarah is no stranger to approaching multiple time frames and once you understand this is what she is doing, the writing is easier to put together in your mind. The concept is supported by using different folded sections for marking the moving of time. The pamphlet is playful, you can even experiment with how you read it, as I did. Sarah means for it to be a puzzle, that’s part of the design.
The four parts are packed with satisfying, vivid description firm in time and place. The reader is transported into and through inter-linked moments, things change and return to how they were before, only better, I admired the juxtaposition between natural and man-made, assisted landscape, assisted life.
As the book unfolds (literally) you drift through past and present whilst at the same time a nagging idea arrives, perhaps it is all fantasy, all fiction, maybe it is imagined beyond that. At the end, you are brought right back into the present.
Clever writing, astute design. A gem on your bookshelf, get your copy now!
It is worth buying this pamphlet for looks alone (Yes! I know you should never judge a book by its cover). There are semi-opaque end pages featuring interesting photographs, look closely and all is revealed. The pamphlet is handmade and is a limited edition, mine is 5 of 48, so if you want one, I would suggest you use the links in this review and snap one up before they are all gone.
© S. Hymas 2014
© S. Hymas 2014
BUY YOUR COPY HERE
There is variance within the forty-eight. I’ve used two different colours for the internal pages: teal and cobalt. So please if you have a preference, do state it.
Host(Waterloo, 2010) £10 inc p+p
“The voices, the stories, the detail and the imagery are powerful, superbly-crafted and original.” Bernardine Evaristo
“The poetry is earthy and takes a no-nonsense approach to setting out their journey from commuity-based god-fearing and pious, through to the complexity, toughness and verging on faithlessness, of modernity.” Anne Stewart in Artemis
“… excellent at capturing social and religious codes of behaviour, with the acuity of Austen or Alice Munro … Host is a tactile and muscular collection, rooted in the complexities and textures of the physical world. Hymas has created fresh and exuberant work that, at its best, captures the awe of being alive.“ Sarah Westcott
The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the author.
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