The blog for the artists' chapbook Small Grass

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Small Grass is growing

We had an amazing double launch at the Barbican library of the Small Grass book and Frances Barry’s beautiful artworks.

Small Grass Exhibition at Barbican LibraryThe exhibition continues in the glass vitrines for the rest of the month, so catch it if you can! It really makes a difference to see the original artworks so much bigger and lovelier – you can see the incredible detail in Grass Laments the Loss of Light.

We also had four fantastic guest readers at the launch – Paul Blake, Kathryn Maris, Anna Robinson and Fawzia Kane (with a surprise guest reader) – reading to one of the loveliest audiences I’ve ever read to. We had lots of filled rye bread and we really did have bison grass vodka with wheat-grass cocktails – unbelievably grassy green but delicious! – and we were very lucky to have grass blessed by the Hindu god, Ganesh, brought from the  Mahalaksmi temple in East Ham by writer Preetha Chockalingam. And, most importantly, we sold books – lots of books – and even took an order for the very, very limited (only 15 in existence and only 3 left) Special Limited Editions (only available from Stonewood Press). A great celebration of poetry, art and grassy things. Thank you everyone who came. #smallgrassfund


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Join us at the Small Grass London Launch

“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

The paperback of Small Grass is due from the printers any day now and we’re very excited. We had a bit of a hiccough but now things look hunky and dory. So, we’re thrilled to be having a London launch of Small Grass  at the wonderfully welcoming Barbican library on 1st September at 7pm (doors open 6.30).

We’ve been very lucky to get an exhibition of a selection of Frances’s beautiful original artworks in the elegant glass cases in the main library, and the evening will be a celebration of poetry and art with readings from me and some of my poetry friends including Fawzia Kane and Kathryn Maris (amazing poets!).

We wanted to keep the evening grassy so we’re having bison-grass vodka – delicious with apple juice (called a tatanka) if you have it with blackcurrant juice it’s called a black bison. And what’s so cool about it is that each bottle has a blade of bison-grass in it – long and sharp and very mysterious-looking for grass! (Who’m I kidding, grass is pretty mysterious anyway! – but the vodka is very delicious!)

So, join us for an evening of conviviality and grassy things on Monday, 1st September, 6.30 for 7pm at the Barbican Library, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS.

Entry is FREE, but space is limited so please contact the Library on 020 7638 0569 for tickets.

All profits from the sale of Small Grass go to Stonewood Press to support new writing. Money raised through the Indiegogo campaign has already contributed to the production of Sarah Passingham’s short story Thumbprint (and her debut collection), Hoad and other stories. #smallgrassfund

See you there!






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Stonewood Press has a new website

stonewood websiteThe lovely Stonewood Press has launched its new website.

From here you’ll be able to browse and buy titles, read writers’ blogs (when they’ve written some), flick through a gallery of gorgeous images and enjoy the odd short video or two (soon to come). It’s still very much in its infancy, but I think the site will grow and be funky and inspire us to want to write and read more!

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We reached £1000 for #smallgrassfund


Grass eavesdrops outside a church window

A massive, warm hug of a thank you to everyone who contributed to our Small Grass Indiegogo Campaign.

Our final total, including postal donations, came to £1001! There’s something very poetic about that figure!

This money, and any money raised from sales of the book, will go directly to Stonewood Press to help produce its next three books – and the very next one coming out will be a wonderful Thumbprint of short stories by Sarah Passingham, called Hoad and Other Stories (due August 2014).Layout 1

Small Grass itself is very, very nearly ready – we have a gorgeous cover from Martin and Frankie, and we’ve just chosen the cloth boards for the hardback. I’m in the middle of writing the blurb (ooh, the hardest writing thing next to synopses and CVs!) and we’ve had a lovely quote from Pascal Petit for the cover. So, your Small Grass will be with you very soon!

We’ve been in touch with the fantastic Nottingham Writers Studio and we’ll be having a launch reading and talk there, along with an exhibition of the original artworks, at the end of July. I’ll give you a date once it’s been firmed up.

We’re waiting to hear back from the Poetry Cafe in London about a reading and exhibition there as well. If you know of anywhere who might be interested in a reading from Small Grass, or placing an exhibition of the artworks, please do get in touch. And if anyone knows someone at the Natural History Museum or Kew Gardens that can help us do something there – then definitely get in touch!

Once again, thank you for all sooooo much your encouragement and for supporting new writing and independent publishing – have a virtual slice of cake and a cup of tea on us!


Jacqueline  xx




We’ve reached our goal! #smallgrassfund

thousandThank you to everyone for helping us to reach our goal of £600 for #smallgrassfund – we’re really touched by your kindness and generosity. In fact you’re continuing to be kind and generous – we’re now at 119% funded (I know! who’d have thought we could’ve taken percent and turned it into percentplus! It’s numerically impossible but we’ve done it!). Our new aim (and maybe it’s a lofty one) is to reach £1000. If you can help us, that would be fantastic – spread the word, spend a pound, share the love, it all counts.

Here we’ve been sitting on our sofas, walking in the park, driving in the car just thinking about how amazing it is that people want to support this project. It’s heartening and inspiring. It got me wondering what factors sent you to the contribute button – was it the amounts, the perks or the names? At one point we had a wonderful contribution of £100 and I thought – finally! Small stinkgrass has triumphed! But no. This incredibly generous contributor didn’t want a perk in return! My heart swells fivefold!

We’re loading more updates — videos, poems, chatter. And next week we’ll be loading a new perk! So stay posted. Small Grass. Small Press. Big Hearts!

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Small Grass Collaboration by Frances Barry

Red thread

Red thread

It was serendipity when Jacqueline asked me if I’d be interested in collaborating with her on her book Small Grass. She was generously giving me a gift.

Jacqueline talked me through the ideas, the emotions and the far reaching subject matter of her poems. She talked about the more ethereal qualities she thought the images could have.

I could feel in this project a potential and a freedom that artistic sensibilities crave. Jacqueline had an unshakeable confidence in my ability to meet the challenge, and an infectious enthusiasm that made me happy to try.

Then 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.

In searching for an approach to the subject matter, ranging from the Universe to pollen to microbes, I found the circle, a natural shape that could happily contain all these scales. I imagined the shape of a blade of grass could structurally frame the view of grass. These two design ideas helped me launch myself into making the images.

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.

When I had a few images made I showed Jacqueline and Martin who warmly welcomed my approach and let me freely continue on my immersive and pleasant journey through small grass.



Gor Blimey Gubnor!

Small Grass on Indiegogo hasn’t been up a week yet and it’s already almost half way to our target! Thanks to all you lovely, generous people – nay, patrons of the literary arts!

But half way is half way and we’re looking for a full fat crowdfunding success with you at its very heart. So you need to help us. If you can donate and you haven’t yet, please go and push that button! If you can’t donate (and there’s no shame in that, times are still hard for a lot of us) then just let people know. Chitter and chatter and help us spread the grass seed. Armour small

To tempt you, we’ve posted up ‘Armour’ the poem that goes with Frankie’s lovely dung beetle artwork. To read it, click on this link or on the image ‘Armour’.

We’d also like to post up some sound tracks, but we want to know what you think first, so please vote in our ‘Would you like to hear recordings of Jacqueline reading from Small Grass’ poll.