Moschatel Press: Craft, concrete, and constructivism in the Cotswolds

Hair, Ross ORCID: (2019) Moschatel Press: Craft, concrete, and constructivism in the Cotswolds. Word & Image: A Journal of Verbal/Visual Enquiry, 35 (4). pp. 380-402. ISSN 0266-6286

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In 1973 in the Gloucestershire town of Nailsworth, the poet Thomas A. Clark and the artist Laurie Clark established their own small publishing imprint, Moschatel Press. Despite early titles by, among others, Ian Hamilton Finlay and Cid Corman, Moschatel Press has, primarily, published the Clarks’ own work, much of which is collaborative. Utilizing simple formats such as postcards, folding cards, pamphlets, and chapbooks, Moschatel Press publications have explored the indivisible relationship that exists between the printed format—its design and construction—and the expressive and material conditions of text and image. It is perhaps not surprising therefore that the press has been frequently associated with concrete and post-concrete poetry. However, prompted by the press’s Cotswolds provenance, this article extends this perspective by examining the ways in which the Arts and Crafts Movement’s close associations with the Cotswolds have shaped the Clarks’ publishing practices and poetics. In particular, this article considers how the Clarks’ early Moschatel Press publications have evoked the Arts and Crafts Movement’s commitment to honest design, formal simplicity, and purity. It also addresses how the Clarks have synthesized and confused these key principles of the Arts and Crafts Movement with notions of making, construction, and sincerity that inform avant-garde notions of “constructivism” in literature and visual art. In doing so, this article claims that the Clarks’ Moschatel Press encourages new ways of thinking about these seemingly antithetical milieus and their relevance in a long and enduring tradition of independent publishing in which Moschatel Press itself remains a formative model and inspirational touchstone.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: thomas a. clark,laurie clark,moschatel press,arts and crafts movement,constructivism,concrete art,concrete poetry,publishing
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > American Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 04:25
DOI: 10.1080/02666286.2019.1580758

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