Days of Wonder

Days of Wonder: poetry by Lesley Saunders with art by Rebecca Swainston

The Hippocrates Press

£10 ISBN

Publication date: 6th October, 2021

Days of wonder cover pic

Lesley Saunders is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Nominy-Dominy (Two Rivers Press, 2018) and, with Philip Gross, A Part of the Main (Mulfran Press, 2018). Her English translations – including the poem that won the 2016 Stephen Spender award – of renowned Portuguese poet Maria Teresa Horta were published as Point of Honour (also Two Rivers Press, 2019). A new collection, This Thing of Blood & Love, is due out from Two Rivers Press in 2022. Otherwise, Lesley is a visiting professor at UCL Institute of Education, London, and an honorary research fellow at Oxford University Department of Education.

Rebecca Swainston is a painter and printmaker; she holds a first-class honours degree in fine art and an MA from Chelsea School of Art. She was a teaching fellow and lecturer at Winchester School of Art, and continues to mentor established and emerging artists. Her work is a stark and expressive examination of the complex and ambiguous nature of human experience; she is inspired by everyday happenings as well as by concepts and beliefs from different cultures. Her themes include the body and mind connection, memory, misapprehension, and interconnectivity – ideas often carried by the presence of animals and other symbolic signs. Rebecca has had numerous solo exhibitions and is represented by the Castlegate House Gallery; her work is held in public and private collections in countries around the world. She works as a volunteer counsellor at Childline.

Lesley says: ‘I began writing what I called my “plague poems” on 16 March 2020, directly after leading a poetry workshop at Reading Museum and Art Gallery – it was then that I first encountered Rebecca’s extraordinary paintings with their haunted, haunting atmosphere. I wrote a poem “Symptoms” in response to one of them the very next day. Rebecca and I began corresponding; over the next year, I found the resonance between the strange, estranged world of the pandemic and the uncanny cosmos of Rebecca’s work – even though it was not directly about the pandemic – growing stronger and stronger, and her art came to inhabit my poetry.’

onion © Hippocrates initiative 2012: