BOOK £10, ISBN 978-0-9572738-1-8 | PRINT £20 | BUY HERE
Inspired by artist Christian Boltanski’s archive of heartbeats, award-winning poet Sue Rose has paired 14 sonnets on family and love with her own poignant photographs, to create a unique ‘memento in a book’.
“I love this book” – Baroness Julia Neuberger
We’re pleased to announce that Hercules Editions’ second book, Heart Archives, is now available. It’s by the award-winning poet and noted French-to-English translator Sue Rose (right), who over the last few years has gained increasing recognition for her treatments of cutting-edge French and Belgian novels and plays (authors include Olivier Adam, Salim Bachi, Nicolas Fargues and Florian Zeller), not to mention Oksa Pollock, “the French Harry Potter”. In 2009 she was winner of the Troubador Poetry Prize, and her first poetry collection, From the Dark Room, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011.
“Poems and images of a sharp, almost savage tenderness” – George Szirtes
Three years in the writing, Heart Archives is a sonnet sequence informed by the work of Christian Boltanski, one of France’s leading visual artists. It was motivated by the intense emotional impact Rose felt when, at Monumenta 2010 in Paris, she encountered Boltanski’s Les Archives du Coeur, a long-term project to record heartbeats and store them on a Japanese island. Some of Rose’s poems specifically reference this installation, while others broaden out into a meditation on family and loss, relationships and legacy – what the poet describes as ‘personal archaeology’.
“Meanings accumulate, one poem deepening another” – Gillian Clarke
Like Formerly, Hercules Editions’ launch publication, Heart Archives is a small-format chapbook closely meshing text and image. It includes an illuminating foreword by the poet, explaining the genesis of this unusual project, and an afterword by the art critic Ben Luke, discussing the work of Christian Boltanski. Each poem is accompanied by a photo of something meaningful to Rose, taken with an iPhone, her own archival device; these are presented as a series of loose-leaf photos, to create a beautiful archive in a book. The resulting volume, says Baroness Julia Neuberger, is “evocative, painful, it begs questions … it leaves your nerves tingling, wanting to know, and feel, more.”
“Offers tough, unflinching reflections on all the big themes” – Matthew Reisz
An innovative companion piece to the Heart Archives book is a limited edition print (above right and bottom) featuring its penultimate poem, the love sonnet B24031947. Beautifully produced using the old-fashioned printing technique of thermography, it has raised, shiny text with a tactile quality redolent of the archive. Affixed next to the poem are real photo corners, and the print is accompanied by all 14 photos from the book, so you can insert whichever image suits your mood. At a practical A4 in size, the print is easy to frame or simply pin up, and comes carefully packaged in a sturdy cardboard wallet, complete with archive labels. Just 50 copies have been created, each signed and numbered by the author.
Below: the book and print, both showing a tipped-in rose photo.