Shoals of Starlings
These minimalist poems of Andrew Martin’s debut collection offer a muscular musicality, infused with deep vulnerability. In this edition, the poetry is accompanied by the author’s own artwork. The luminous language and fractal imagery both share the same creation processes and combine to explore themes of repetition, shape-shifting, and resurfacing, like a murmuration of starlings. There is much darkness in the vivid imagery of these elemental bird-themed poems, but ever-present is a whispered undertow of light.
Foreword by Steve Spence
Andrew Martin’s debut collection is a rare mix of poetry and visual art in the sense that both mediums complement each other and are generated through similar thought processes. Andrew’s poetry is a fine example of the modern lyric, writing about nature which fuses observation with psychological input, the author as an imaginative interpreter of the natural world, an interpretation which is both minimalist and full of musicality, fractured and filled with beautiful phrases and arresting imagery. There is also vulnerability here, and I’m reminded of John Clare’s writing both in terms of the subject matter and the approach. The images themselves are close to abstraction yet hint at representation in the capture of movement, of swarming and of life, variations on a theme. This collection manages to combine the modern with the traditional in an exceptionally accomplished manner, a fine first book from a writer/artist I feel we are going to hear more about.
Planets, the Sun, and a comet take on striking personas in this short collection of poems. In a clear and concise voice with vivid imagery solitude and loneliness are explored through the celestial bodies that circle the Sun.