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The best ink stones are slates from Chinese riverbeds, but in the long history of their use these have all been found. As one expert writes, ‘the better the stone, the smaller and more consistent the particles will be and the denser the ink.’ These new poems by Jamie McKendrick have a remarkable density of ink. They explore the grain, or ‘tooth’, of the natural world with unusual and discomforting detail at the same time as they chart the medium they work in – not only what the eye sees, but the eye itself: its structure and structurings. These poems open onto conflicting perspectives of home and abroad, the domestic and the wild, the natural and the uncanny, elegy and celebration.
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