Couldn't You?

Hall, John (2007) Couldn't You? Shearsman Books, UK. ISBN 9781905700516

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Abstract / Summary

As an enquiry, the collection is at once thematic and formal: about and through form, about and through language. Formal concerns include: visual shape on the page (Hall set the pages); the status of line (visual) and syntax (linguistic) in poetry, especially in relation to each other; relation to other discursive modes such as narrative, essay, lexicon, genealogy. Many of these formal concerns are also thematic, as, in particular, are continued explorations of repetition, negation and silence.

Shearsman Books has become over the last few years one of the most significant specialist publishers of contemporary poetry in the UK, with an expanding international list ( The press’s website includes a web gallery, which has been showing photographs and copies of some of Hall’s visual poems. ‘Couldn’t You?’ brings together page-based poems written since his previous collection, ‘Else Here: Selected Poems’, published in 1999. As a book of poems it is intended to stand on its own without the need for other support. Even so, it forms part of a larger research project, and has a close relationship with parallel enquiries being conducted through visual poems and essays.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: Visual versions of some of the poems in this book have been shown in exhibitions (and web journals) on the internet (Shearsman Gallery:; Great Works:; Jacket Magazine, Issue 29, April 2006: and in galleries (Dartington Gallery, 2002; Phoenix Gallery, Exeter, 2004). Paper-page versions of individual pieces have appeared in poetry journals.
ISBN: 9781905700516
Depositing User: John Hall
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2014 11:48
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 16:04


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