Poems of the North Sea by Jonathan Wonham with linocuts by Nick Wonham
Deepwater Horizon. Piper Alpha. These names have become synonymous disaster, but they also provide the oil that, at least for now, keep factories running, houses warm and transport running. Life on these oil rigs is lonely, gritty and dangerous. For those left at home, it is also lonely, and dangerous in other ways. Jonathan Wonham's poems spring from his experience on these oil platforms, particularly his time in Northern Scotland, where the loneliness, the fear, the horror worked itself out in these poems. Each poem describes the scene from a different angle, a different point of view, a small vignette of oil and steel and the human condition.
The sky, the sea and the grey steel of the rigs form a monochromatic landscape that blends day with day. Yet there are also bright flashes of colour, brief moments of beauty. Nick Wonham, Jonathan's brother, adds the visuals to these vignettes, crafting the multicoloured linocuts that help convey the sense of each poem.
The 52 pages of Steel Horizon include 29 poems and 10 full-page linocuts. It was hand set in Lectura and printed on Magnani Avorio paper in an edition of 200; each copy signed by Nick and Jonathan. At four sections, 12 1/2 x 8 inches, it is a lovely book for hand binding, large enough to have fun with, small enough to be manageable with a nice hand. Our edition is hand sewn and hard-bound. The front board is covered in a grey paper letterpress printed with one of Nick's two-colour linocuts. A two-colour vignette is printed on the back. It has very narrow cloth spine. A grey manila slipcase may be ordered with the book.