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Selected Letters and Poems of Wilfred OwenSelected, edited and with an introduction by JEREMY HOOKER
Illustrated with colour engravings by HARRY BROCKWAY
WILFRED OWEN'S war writings are renowned for their bleak realism, indignation and compassion. All these elements are evident in this selection of his letters and poems, which represent his maturity as a poet and letter writer, later to be recognised as not only a major poet, but as the iconic English poet of World War I. Wilfred Owen joined the Artists Rifles as a Private in 1915, and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment in 1916. In the following year he was sent to Craiglockhart Hospital near Edinburgh, suffering from shell-shock. It was here he met Siegfried Sassoon, and there is no doubt that Sassoon's example inspired him to write angrily and realistically about the war. The writings chosen for this selection were completed, and most entirely written, in the creative burst that followed this experience. He was killed in action on 4 November 1918.
JEREMY HOOKER is an English poet, critic, teacher and broadcaster. His teaching career has taken him to universities in Wales, England, the Netherlands and the USA. He is currently Professor of English at the University of Glamorgan. Although born near Southampton, many of his own poems were written in Wales, where he has lived for many years. The Cut of Light:poems 1965-2005 is a substantial selection from his ten volumes of poetry. He has published widely on British and American literature, and his Welsh Journal appeared in 2001. He has edited the work of Alun Lewis, Frances Bellerby and Richard Jefferies, as well as Wilfred Owen. This is the second collection of war writing that he has edited and selected for Gwasg Gregynog, his first being Inwards where all the battle is... a selection of Alun Lewis's writings from India, which was published in 1997.
HARRY BROCKWAY's early training was as a sculptor. He has illustrated a number of books for Private Presses, the Folio Society and other publishers. He now works as a stone carver from his home in Somerset. In this, his second commission for Gwasg Gregynog, we see elements of style from his illustrations to The Story of Heledd, his first Gregynog commission, published in 1994 and now out of print. Through the medium of two-colour engravings (a combination of linocut and Resingrave) he visually interprets Wilfred Owen's vision of war with illustrations that add to our understanding of the writings.
JOHN SEWELL trained under Lester Capon and Maureen Duke at Guildford College. His appointment as Gregynog Student in the Book Arts enabled him to hone his skills in the bindery there. A freelance binder, he has worked for Gregynog and other Private Presses, and undertaken a number of private commissions. His binding of Mapping Golgotha was partially undertaken in the Gregynog bindery, using some of the equipment of the original Gregynog Press.
THE LETTERS and poems have been machine-set at Gregynog in 10 and 12 point Monotype Caslon, from spools produced by Harry Mclntosh at Speedspools of Edinburgh. The poem titles have been hand-set in 18 point Monotype Caslon, and the book printed on Magnani Book Wove I4o/i45gsm mould-made paper. Harry Brock-way's engravings are printed direct from the blocks: the colour from linocuts, the black from Resingrave. The edition is limited to 200 copies hand-sewn and bound in quarter calfskin with hand-sewn silk endbands; titled in blind on the spine and with printed cloth sides. Each copy is presented in a cloth-covered slipcase. Binding design is by John Sewell, Gerard O'Shea was the compositor, and the book was designed and printed letterpress by David Vickers, Controller of Gwasg Gregynog. 80 pages, 180x280mm.
ISBN 0 9541942 8 4.
Example pages: click on an image for a larger version.