(326 pages, Reality Street Editions 2006)
Cover: Antony Cook, Icened Mollusc, 1987
(painting, oil & acrylic on canvas).
Body of Work brings together for the first time all of Maggie O'Sullivan's solo collections of poetry and visual texts published before her 1993 Reality Street book In the House of the Shaman. These booklets, long out of print, are here presented in facsimile, scanned from the original publications, or in some cases the original mauscripts, together with a selection of previously unpublished works.
'... autochthonous verse, tilling the inter-indigenous brainscape of the Celtic / Northumbrian / Welsh / Gaelic / Scots / Irish / Anglo / Saxon transloco-voco-titillated strabismus. It's not that O'Sullivan writes directly "in" any one of the languages "of these isles", as she told once, but that they form a foundational "force field" out of which her own distinctive language emerges, as figure set against its grounding....
O'Sullivan cleaves to charm: striating song with the visceral magic of shorn insistence.'
From Charles Bernstein's foreword
Click here to read the complete essay Colliderings: O'Sullivan's Medleyed Verse by Charles Bernstein.
'Body of Work brings us face to face with the radically beautiful series of bookworks and pamphlets in which the designed, sounded ecosystems of Maggie O'Sullivan's poetry first arrived at form. Everything we couldn't find is here, reproduced with an unmatched sensitivity to the original publications, which sing as new in the very characters the poet chose.'