Past exhibitions

Hackney Harpoon | 19-Jul-13 to 15-Sep-13

Hackney Harpoon

As part of Southbank Centre's London Lines project Iain Sinclair has been  commissioned to write a new poem on Hackney, the borough he has lived in since 1969. Sinclair has a rich connection with the Poetry Library, from his days as a  bookseller to the current research of his bibliographer within the library's various collections. The artist Oona Grimes has collaborated with the poet on a Hastings-based book called Postcards from the 7th Floor and on Hackney That Rose-Red Empire. She also featured in the library's 2011 exhibition 'Art on Poetry'.

For the new work, Sinclair has taken the title 'Hackney Harpoon'. Drawing on  Melville's notion of the compass spinning in the wrong direction after a ship had been struck by lightning, Sinclair's poem strikes through the soft underbelly of the borough, celebrating street names and topographic singularities, while Grimes forges a parallel graphic narrative of dangerous signs and symbols. A display of some of Sinclair's rarer publications from the library's holdings are also on show.

London Lines is a collaboration between Jaybird Live Literature and Southbank Centre.

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