pile of poems

New aquisitions

Melissographia by John Burnside & Amy Shelton | 09-Mar-16

Staff Pick from our Poetry Library Open Day 2015.

Melissographia / John Burnside & Amy Shelton
UK: The artist, 2011

This bee-utiful handmade volume is born of a collaboration between poet John Burnside and artist Amy Shelton. Featuring natural materials such as antique onion paper leaves, pressed blossoms and spots of gold leaf, the craftsmanship and artwork perfectly complement Burnside's mellifluous verse to conjure the tiny, intricate creatures who are their subject. The painted pollen maps, precisely observed seasonal poems and waxed botanical samples tell the story of the bees' fragile survival amid modern environmental threats such as colony collapse disorder.

Burnside has since written about the importance of our relationship with the bee population, and how its fate is key to our cultural and imaginative wellbeing. I love how, through the interplay of text, texture and image, the work provoked a child-like sense of wonder and lifted me from the hum of the city into the buzz of the apiary.

Karen Smith
Cataloguer


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