Fan-Peckled, by Jean Atkin, illustrated by Katy Alston
'Fan-Peckled' is a pamphlet of twelve poems by Jean Atkin, each illustrated by Katy Alston. An intuitive collaboration between poet and illustrator, it explores idiomatic language of historic Shropshire. Margaret Adkins
Word-lovers will relish reading these poems out loud. Jean Atkin has selected twelve words from Georgina Frederica Jackson’s Shropshire Word-Book, an 1879 glossary of archaic country terms and, using a similar approach to Robert MacFarlane’s The Lost Words, written a poem featuring each one.
Katy Alston’s gorgeous illustrations combine with Jean Atkin’s well-tuned ear to recreate a bygone age. Sphinx.
Twelve poems and twelve art-illustrations based on old Shropshire Words
These poems were inspired by: The Shropshire Word-Book, A Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words, Etc., Used in the County By Georgina F. Jackson. First Published 1879 by Adnitt & Naunton, Shrewsbury
Jean Atkin is a wise guide to a rich Shropshire legacy: in FAN-PECKLED a cornucopia of verbal ‘oddlings’ come vividly to life through a kaleidoscopic cast of characters – bird, beast and human – all lit by Katy Alston’s colourful illustrations. Every word lover will relish this beautiful book. NANCY CAMPBELL.
I loved this book! It spells Shropshire for me. And Katy Alston’s illustrations bear comparison with Ravilious and Ardizzione. KATHERINE SWIFT
This glorious book of poems and pictures by Jean Atkin and Katy Alston. Forgotten words given new life, which is one of the great functions of artistic endeavour. IAN McMILLAN
This is not a romanticised collection. Readers encounter flooding, an abused work horse and a labourer needing to transfer skills in a time of changing economics. It is a collection of acute, tender observations and a reminder that although the years pass, what matters remains and people’s sensibilities continue as before, regardless. MARGARET ADKINS Full review is here
Katy Alston’s gorgeous illustrations combine with Jean Atkin’s well-tuned ear to recreate a bygone age I can’t help but yearn for as I read the poems and linger with the illustrations. For me, the poems recall John Clare and Edward Thomas. To read them out loud, and to hear these lost words speak again, is pure pleasure. SPHINX Full Review is here
ABOUT THE ARTIST-ILLUSTRATOR Following a degree in Fine Art, Katy spent some years painting and studied at West Surrey College of Art, now UCA. She now works mainly in illustration, making artist’s books, illustrated maps and natural history illustrations. As she’s often to be found trawling through documents of old Shropshire and field names maps, it felt very natural and logical to be making pictures for the ‘Fan-peckled’ poems and it has provided her with inspiration for her latest work.