• Small Grass cover
  • Small Grass poem
  • Small Grass poem
  • Samll Grass

Small Grass by Jacqueline Gabbitas & Frances Barry


“As there is sun, there’s life…” so begins Small Grass, a short sequence of poems, with artworks beautifully interpreted by Frances Barry.

Special Stonewood Press Price £6.99 (rrp £7.99)

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Poems by Jacqueline Gabbitas with artwork by Frances Barry

Here, Grass speaks in a single, unifying voice in idioms and tones as varied as the many different types of grass, and as wide reaching, historically and geographically, as the stubble beneath a window, the seeds in an Antarctic ice core, the stems at the River Lethe waiting for a new soul, and the cropped and bloodied grass of war fields. Grass witnesses the world and records its evolution through her relationships with the creatures with which she shares the planet, and in particular her complex engagement with humankind.

What people have been saying

I’ve never thought of grass talking before, but after reading this sequence, with its delicate and sharp voices, I may not be able to walk on it again without listening.” – Pascale Petit

…I read Jacqueline’s powerful poems and wondered whether they really needed images. Could poems full of rich imagery easily be “illustrated”? I read and absorbed the poems over a month, made some notes and started to conceive a few ideas. I felt the images should be like the percussion section in the Small Grass orchestra, giving the poems plenty of room to be heard, and enough space on the page for Small Grass to breathe… The poems lent themselves to an organic treatment so I worked with my materials, inks and collage and tools, brushes, pen, scissors and hands, with a tactile visceral energy that allowed for accident, abstraction and the organic qualities of the materials to be.” – Frances Barry

All profits from the sale of this book goes to Stonewood Press to help fund future titles.

ISBN: 978-1-910413-00-5 (Paperback)
Publisher: Stonewood Press
Price: £6.99 (Poetry)
Extent: 48 pages
Publication: July 2014

Additional information

Weight 90 g
Dimensions 185 × 110 × 5 mm

3 reviews for Small Grass by Jacqueline Gabbitas & Frances Barry

  1. Douglas

    This is a beautiful and elegantl little book. A treasure to hold in the hands or to tuck in one’s neat pocket, and full marks to Sonewood for the production details. The illustrations by Frances Barry are delicate and yet stunning and something to covet. But (saving the best till last) Jacqueline Gabbitas’ poetry is clever and fine and her grass seeds grow with each reading and take root in one’s own thoughts – a beautiful exploration of seed and grwoth and grass. I have my favourites – but they alter on each revisting of the book. Right now I love ‘Welcoming the burrs’ – which is a grass poem and a lyrical poem of love and waiting and hoping and never knowing. This is a five star book to be snatched up.

  2. Sarah Westcott

    Jacqueline Gabbitas’ book Small Grass is another collection that does something extraordinary with language. This small and ambitious book takes on the voice of grass in many guises, and is both timeless and particular. As grass is.

    The poems wear their biology lightly – there are rhizomes and algae and ice core samples, but they are also quite clearly art in themselves.

    This exquisite short poem, ‘Grass eavesdrops at a church window’, is worth quoting in its entirety – it just expresses that sense of starchy humming you can almost hear in bright sun when plants are photosynthesising…

    ‘If man would put his ear to this glass
    he’d hear my voice – my colossal reed
    singing to my stems, my roots, amassing
    my flower-heads, broadcasting seeds.’

    Another strength is the author’s subtle engagement with environmental peril, without becoming didactic. She writes beautifully in the delicate, shifting space between human and nature.

  3. Martyn Crucefix

    Jacqueline Gabbitas’ Small Grass gives grass a voice and runs with the idea with charm, cleverness and power.

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