In April 2020, I am delighted to welcome Amy Kean and Jack Wallington's creative exploration (through poetry and illustration) of society's 'weeds' and the beauty and wonder that can be found within them, which is perceived as 'different'.
Amy Kean: Amy is a senior advertising strategist, writer and poet based in London. She has been named “one of the most influential people in digital advertising” by The Drum magazine. Her book, The Little Girl Who Gave Zero F*cks came out last November and has been a number 1 bestseller on Amazon, regularly sitting in the political humour and feminist charts. She has written opinion pieces for The Guardian, HuffPost, Disclaimer, Glamour and has a regular column on creativity for Shots Magazine. From a poetry perspective, Amy has been published in Ink Sweat & Tears (poet of the month) Abridged, Poetry Village, Burning House Press, Twist in Time, and many others, and was recently in the Reflex Fiction anthology ‘Jazz Baby’.
Jack Wallington: Jack is a landscape designer in London and award winning garden and nature writer. He has designed over 40 gardens for private clients and businesses, creating stylish spaces with contemporary landscaping and unique planting that captures the beauty of nature. His writing frequently appears in magazines and national newspapers including The Telegraph, and his debut gardening book Wild About Weeds: Garden Design with Rebel Plants was named The Times Gardening Book of the Year. In this collection, Jack uses sharp, quickly drawn lines to explore and express the energy of life in illustration.
Amy Kean talks about 'House of Weeds' and her writing:
I'd describe my writing style as blunt. It's punchy, often colloquial and intended to jar, which is perfect for this collection of slightly damaged yet defiant individuals. I love to mix long dreamy scenes of inner monologue with raw dialogue, and whilst the collection has many different voices, they all have have something in common: a certain freedom, and brashness.
Every single one of the 'weeds' in our collection has welcomed their difference with open arms; is bored of society and its ridiculous norms, and I hope throughout every poem you can sense the rebellious tone. This was largely inspired by Jack and his garden weed obsession (he calls them "rebel plants"!)
In terms of what inspires me, I'm amazed by the poets who shock you and break your heart with every poem. The ones who get so close to the bone you feel uncomfortable and exhilarated at the same time, like A K Blakemore, Caroline Bird and Hera Lindsey Bird. In fiction, I love the weirdness of Dan Rhodes and Mark Haddon, and the beautiful, powerful voice of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The launch of this book will include an immersive exhibition in London in June- keep your eye out for this, but you can sure there has been nothing quite like it!