London-based poet Tim Cumming’s illustrated pamphlet Etruscan Miniatures celebrates a summer holiday in Orvieto. Twelve poems and six watercolours.
‘Cumming’s free-associative, impressionist senses are enhanced in this setting, where a simple observation of last night’s debris, and anticipation of lunch, combine to flow, again in a single sentence, all the way to ‘the soul food kitchen/of Dante’s Purgatorio.’
More than anything, though, what the reader is conscious of (with the assistance of delicate blue and green and white watercolours) is Cumming’s visual focus…
…as a reader, you feel yourself cavorting through this ravishing landscape, into frescoes, into history and myth, below ground, and to other parts of the cosmos – all the while holding a dewy glass of white wine in your hand.’
Tim Cumming was born in 1963 and grew up in Dorset. He has lived in London since 1982, and published his first poems in Agenda, The Echo Room, The Wide Skirt and The North. His first collection, The Miniature Estate was published by SmithDoorstop in 1991. Scratch published Apocalypso the following year, and Stride published an expanded Apocalypso (1999) and The Rumour (2004). Wreckingball Press brought out the book-length cinematic poem Contact Print in 2002, and after the publication of The Rapture in 2011, Pitt Street Poetry published a chapbook of poems and paintings, Etruscan Miniatures in 2012.
Cumming’s work has appeared in numerous editions of The Forward Book of Poetry and its 2004 Best of the Decade anthology, and in the Identity Parade anthology from Bloodaxe in 2010. His work has been broadcast on BBC radio and BBC TV and his film poems have been shown at festivals in Canada, Argentina, Scotland, England and Serbia. He made the acclaimed film, Hawkwind: Do Not Panic, for the BBC, and his paintings have been shown at the Rowley Gallery in West London and at Slader’s Yard in West Bay, Dorset.