The poet W. S. Graham (1918-1986), though born in Greenock, Scotland, spent most of his adult life, with his companion Nessie Dunsmuir, in Cornwall. Since his death his reputation as one of the most distinctive and essential voices of twentieth-century literature has steadily increased. David Whittaker’s essay chronicles Sydney Graham’s mature years in Mevagissey, Gurnard’s Head, Zennor and Madron. They provide a persistent sense of place – especially the ever-present sea in all its shifting moods – throughout his work. He also frequently referred back to his native Scotland with a certain sense of self-exile’s guilt. In addition it was Graham’s luck to be a part of the dynamic post-war St Ives community of visual artists. His friends included Peter Lanyon, Roger Hilton, Bryan Wynter (for whom he wrote outstanding elegies), Ben Nicholson, Sven Berlin, Tony O’Malley, Terry Frost, Nancy Wynne-Jones and Alan Lowndes, plus many more. Graham’s uncompromising dedication to his own writerly art would not have been possible without the abundant generosity and loyalty of this good-fellowship and the book traces his vital relationships with these artists. Most of the painters he associated with were challenging the habits of pictorial representation and their ideas and methods of working further shaped Graham’s development as a poet. Give Me your Painting Hand is illustrated throughout and includes material not previously published, it also offers a selection of Graham’s poems.
Author David Whittaker
Publisher Wavestone Press
Condition New, signed by the author