The Purging of Spence Broughton, a Highwayman (2009)

The Purging of Spence Broughton is a dissident piece of work in many respects.  Working for the first time with Brian Lewis at Longbarrow Press, whose approach to poetry publication is distinguished by creativity, care and a commitment to working alongside writers and artists, afforded me an opportunity to explore the relationship between subject and object at a very basic level.  The result was a boxed artefact containing the sequence of poems in a soft-bound, handmade chapbook in landscape format and using antique / partly defaced fonts, along with some incidental poems in loose leaf, a short additional sequence, a roll of characters and a map.  This form of presentation supported the subject – an execution in the 18th century of a Lincolnshire farmer for a minor crime, and the subsequent suspension of his remains over many decades – very appropriately.

The work is available from Longbarrow Press.


Manufacture of the Gibbet Iron

They have been up all night,
bending the rolled iron,
hammering the rivets in.

Now it hangs on its hook
turning idly in the first light:
against the black bricks,
the forged outline of a man.


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