Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Penguin Poets' Patterns

Of all the early patterned covers on the Penguin Poets I think this has to be my favourite so far. It's a particularly resonant book for me, however, since it was from the 1980s version of this anthology, with a Jackson Pollock painting on the cover, that I was first introduced to the critical study of poetry at school. This was a seminal anthology which brought together Philip Larkin, Ted Hughes, Thom Gunn and R. S. Thomas to name but a few.

Most, but not quite all, of the patterns for the Penguin Poets were designed by Stephen Russ and many of them really stand out as patterns with an idea behind them, not simply as decorative pieces. There is a
website devoted to Russ's work which includes a 'guess the title from the pattern quiz'. The wonderful Acejet170 (who introduced me to the joys of these covers in the first place) also has a great Flickr set of some of his collection.

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