Night Train is a collaboration between artist Birtley Aris and poet Sean O’Brien. The book is presented as a poet-artist’s sketch-come-notebook, in which the text as well as the artwork is hand drawn. This is a world of steam-trains, platforms and railway landscapes glimpsed by night, with a buried tale of love and madness. It is an intensely romantic English world in the tradition of Eric Ravilious and John Piper.
It’s the year’s best-looking poetry book, with O’Brien’s handwritten poems and Aris’s sketches given equal billing. This is English noir: part romance, part detective story, and above all a paean to a landscape of railway sidings and overgrown sleepers, a world of “coal-smoke, oil-sweat, gusty corridors/ That thunder onto viaducts/ Flung across gulfs of industrial fog”. Aris shares O’Brien’s fascination for England’s post-industrial dream and fills the book with scenes of desolate grandeur.
— Paul Batchelor, The Times, November 28, 2009
See below for sample pages.
Night Train costs £18.99 and was published in July 2009.
Night Train costs £9.99 and was published in July 2009.
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