The Print Museum in The Oxford Culture Review

Posted on 4 July 2016

When writing a poem, sequence or book, there are many aspects I aim to bring in, and many that surprise me along the way and I try to harness.

There’s a sense of what I’m aiming for, hoping for, edging towards, working obsessively with and around… But it can be hard to know if you’ve achieved what you aimed for, or if it comes across in the work and for the reader.

In The Oxford Culture Review, Tilly Nevin engages thoughtfully and comprehensively with The Print Museum to draw out key themes, techniques and angles.

‘the collection itself, is a museum of references to printing, to printers, to readers, but also to the human stories and sorrows caught up in the language on the page….[it] spans both the intimate and universal, the intensely personal and the collective…Williamson explores so much, from love and language, to climate change, to genealogy and childlessness.’

The review discusses the playfulness of form, the interaction between the personal and the public, and between traditional and contemporary means of communication.

‘Whereas its content suggests the inefficacy of language, Williamson’s language itself is remarkable in its precision… The typeface becomes an intrinsic part of every poem… they serve as a testament to the work of the printer who was…a part of the printed work himself.’

‘the reader’s own heightened awareness of the manipulation of language [is] highlighted by layout… Williamson is playing with the language… delighting in language’s polysemous nature. She uses the spacing of the page, bracketing, and even scores out words.’

To have a reader investigate, consider, react to and describe so thoughtfully key aspects of the book is immensely heartening. 

‘A sense of extreme loss pervades her writing, but it is counterbalanced with a lightness of touch, a fluidity and a simplicity that keeps you reading.’

‘It is these moments of stillness in Williamson’s writing, of stasis and contemplation, of sadness and such beauty, that make her poems unforgettable.’

Read the full review at The Oxford Culture Review