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The best ink stones are slates from Chinese riverbeds, but in the long history of their use these have all been found. as one expert writes, the better the stone, the smaller and more consistent the particles will be and the denser the ink . These poems by Jamie McKendrick have a remarkable density of ink. They explore the grain, or tooth of the natural world with unusual and discomforting detail at the same time as they chart the medium they work in - t only what the eye sees, but the eye itself: its structure and structurings. These poems open onto conflicting perspectives of home and abroad, the domestic and the wild, the natural and the uncanny, elegy and celebration.
Jamie McKendrick was born in Liverpool in 1955. He is the author of six collections of poetry, including The Marble Fly (1997), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection and a Poetry Book Society Choice; Ink Stone (2003), shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Poetry Award; and Crocodiles & Obelisks, shortlisted for the Forward Prize. Out There (2012) won the Hawthornden Prize. An earlier selection of his poems was published as Sky Nails (2000), and he is editor of 20th-Century Italian Poems (2004). The Embrace, his translations of Valerio Magrelli's poetry, won the Oxford-Weidenfeld and the John Florio prizes.