Limnology was originally published in 2012 by Corbel Stone Press, and comprised a sequence of poems variously structured to echo the meandering progress of streams, rivers and other inland waterways. The source of much of this work was a glossary of riverine words that constituted the book’s final section. The poems ‘before the river, ‘rising’, ‘after the thaw’ and ‘from the desert waste’ were drawings from the great river; offshoots and diversions from a larger body of water.
These poems were originally intermingled with a series of text rivers that further imitated the natural motions of water and gravity. Letters cascaded down the page, overlapping, merging and gathering, forming pools and streams. These visual poems took as their source the poem ‘line’ from Landings:
What line did the river first write in the valley?
What sense, made over and over, now senseless?
This river writing was therefore virtually illegible—its meaning arose from its enactment of physical processes. In so doing, the open book became a v-shaped valley, and the page an embodiment of a particular landscape.
In this new edition, these visual poems have been extensively rewritten—their forms liberated from the rule of traditional typographic lineation. The result is a series of texts that more faithfully enact the sinuous meandering of becks, rills and ghylls, or the patterning of river deltas.
Added to the original Limnology in this new volume are a series of further works, created betwen 2013 and 2020. These include Become a Ford (2013), Still Glides the Stream (2014) and Erosions (2020)—the latter a series of weathered found poems; texts that document their own gradual disintegration.