Published in a hardback, signed limited edition of 150
Composed as a single, fractured whole, Heather Phillipson’s NOT AN ESSAY is a tense handshake, momentary eye-contact, a rap on the cranium.
This text stakes out a bodily territory in which bodies are inflated and denied. Preoccupied with intimacy and its opposite, its narrator detours through the nightclub, the city graveyard, changing rooms, an overheated swimming pool, free jazz, public toilets, the in-house cinema, searching for – what? Can we still cope with torsos? Are we prepared for faces? Would we like to press together in the dark?
Cavalier, acerbic, droll and disconsolate, the text is a self-incrimination, the noise of the intellect giving its mechanics away. The chronicler is contrary, fallible – a body among bodies, a nervous system, an overwrought brain, the awareness of open pores, clothed in subjectively awful trousers.
Promo video by Heather Phillipson.
“Falling between prose and poem, NOT AN ESSAY addresses Deleuzian ideas surrounding the body as object. Phillipson works through, a series of not-always-comfortable juxtapositions, the idea that our flesh and bones are alienated and indeed separated from the cognitive, social self.”
Oliver Basciano, Art Review
“The text is probing, provocative and tactile; intense, witty and beguiling.”
Sam Buchan-Watts, The Quietus
‘Heather Phillipson’s poems display heroic bafflement…a humour both quirky and robust’
Andrew McCulloch, Times Literary Supplement
‘Phillipson’s work is often very funny as it rebounds from one untenable erotic or intellectual position to another…sounding like the love child of Frank O’Hara and Rosemary Tonks’
Sean O’Brien, The Guardian