Sandspout Bookstore

The Years
Jamie McKendrick


Paperback, 36pp, illus
Arc, 2020

A chapbook of 15 beautifully-crafted poems. Each poem is accompanied by an illustration by the poet – ink and watercolour on paper, with occasional crayon and collage added. In part a response to the imposed isolation of last year, this chapbook combining poem and illustration was encouraged by a reacquaintance by the author of Hardy’s drawings for Wessex Poems, which, says McKendrick, “share a consonant sensibility with the poems.”

“As a rule,” writes McKendrick in his foreword, “I’ve kept art work and poems at an unsocial distance, maintained only because one form seemed to interfere with the other. When (infrequently) I worked on, or played around with pictures, I didn’t write poems, and vice versa. Of late I’ve felt inclined to unbuild the wall I’d constructed. After all, bad fences make good neighbours, as from childhood on I’ve had good reasons to believe.
“While making pictures to accompany the poems, several seemed to arrive quite naturally; others dug in their heels as if loathe to serve something other than themselves. Still, my hope is that image and poem can speak to each other without losing their autonomy.”

More books by Jamie McKendrick…


JAMIE McKENDRICK is a poet and translator living in Oxford. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, including The Marble Fly (1997), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection; Ink Stone (2003); Crocodiles and Obelisks (2007); Out There (2012), winner of the Hawthornden Prize; and most recently Anomaly (2018). In 2016, his Selected Poems was published by Faber. Jamie McKendrick’s translation of Valerio Magrelli’s poetry, Vanishing Points, won the Oxford-Weidenfeld and the John Florio prizes; his translation of a selection of Antonella Anedda’s poems, Archipelago, won the John Florio prize. Most recently, he has translated for Penguin Books the six books of Giorgio Bassani’s The Novel of Ferrara.


Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Society

McKendrick’s essay The Professional and the Other