Recently I brought some literature books hand-made by Victoria Burroughes, a student on Ba Visual Studies, at the Norwich University College of the Arts. These being the newest lot of literature that I have read from her it was a refreshment of the style of writing that she has; in some cases the poems are short and snappy, on the other hand she gives the reader a lot to think about whether it be a simple statement that we all feel or a narrative about the mundane journeys that we all will inevitably take at some point.
Both books are designed in the same format and with the same feel and quality, a simple soft textured cream paper that makes all of the words standout in either black or deep grey. Design overall from my point of view; in order, the covers are controlled simplicity, a medium weight serif in two sizes with a lot of space to give the desired hierarchy. The contents page and copyright at the end of the book take the centred style, which to me seems a little strange seeing as the whole book is left aligned most of the time, even when the main body copy is justified in ‘Men’; the margins are set to a document, where the outside margins are the same but the inside margin seems to change which is probably due to the way in which the pages have been printed and bound together, which is understandable in this case. Other than the few pointed out design related mentions the book flows beautifully throughout, with little or not qualms or oddities.
Nine poems that capture a moment in time, a simple statement about a friend, a journey or an injury. The words are both powerful and subtle, simple and complex the feeling that her life is like her poems, the feeling that a monologue is created just to imagine the events and situations happening, that omniscient listener to a souls thoughts throughout her life, captured in a few lines carefully constructed to maximise the impact that it has on the reader. Above the realism of all the events hinders the humorous undertones that give us hope of something better, happier.
This book is the bigger of the two and is a collection of first person accounts of 10 different men in her life, portrayed with specific attributes to give the stories density in such a small space. For those who love to read about other people, the feeling of looking into someone else’s life, the big brother style fans that just watch people and in the end want to see what happens, the high lows and feelings felt by someone else without knowing the actual people behind the perceived, if you are that person then this book is your friend. Through the thoughts of a friend, lover and acquaintance you get an uneasy impression of her life, and in some cases a strange feeling that you are her, a puppet thought the eyes that you look, a beating heart of a hidden romance and the sadness that follows, whether it be an emotional tie to the stories of a memory that seems so real that your life has the same situations that seem even more real by reading the similarities.
I highly recommend these books to everyone for all the comments written above, you cannot help but be moved by at least one of the poems and equally so by one of the stories in Men.