Tag Archive: Art Book


The Rules of Form update

1 of only 100 copies!

Grand news:

Due to demand, The Whipple Museum is printing 50 more copies of The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules.

Our limited-edition book had an initial print run of 50 copies, and now there will be 100 books in total in existence.

Please contact me or the Whipple if you are interested in buying a copy (for £6) of this unique combination of creative, academic, and literary work.

Here I’m attempting to show off the unusual size of the book…but I’m also really pleased!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my latest project as the Poet-in-Residence at Cambridge’s Whipple Museum of the History of Science is printed and available!

I am proud to be Editor of The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules, a book which demonstrates that ‘a proposition of geometry is a fair and luminous parallel for a work of art’.

This art book has been a long-running project, and it is now available to purchase from me, or from the Whipple Museum  (contact: hps-whipple-museum@lists dot cam dot ac dot uk) for £6, an accessible price for the quality and unique contents of the book, if I may say so.

There are only FIFTY copies – it is a limited edition object! (It’s also a real book, as in, it has an ISBN, and will therefore go into the British Library.) If you have an interest in sonnets, slide rules, calculating monkeys, or art books in general, do buy one.

A spread from our collaboration between poet Lesley Saunders and artist Cassie Herschel-Shorland.

Our contributions include poems written for the project by Lesley Saunders, artist Cassie Herschel-Shorland’s response to the Museum’s Maths Cabinet and to Lesley’s poems, illustrator Badaude’s take on the theme (she gives us a taster of her contribution here,) an essay on Consul the Calculating Monkey by Dr Caitlin Wylie, and a brilliant piece on poetry, the Gothic, and constraints, by Dr Joseph Crawford. Original artwork, exclusive to the book, and other pictures are in colour throughout.

Ever since learning about poets and artists collaborating to produce a book, I wanted to create a small, beautiful ‘art book’ – and I’m pleased to consider The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules a very special art book.

The form and contents of the object are equally important, and everything in the book was inspired by the Whipple Museum’s collection of mathematical instruments.

A London-based launch is in progress.

Almost pocket-sized, definitely purse-sized, The Rules of Form is perfect for the train…

Following on my last post, I’m very sorry to say that the ‘Dream Cabinet’ event at the Whipple Museum has been cancelled. If you were planning on attending, thank you, and I’m sorry!

The good news is that our art book, The Rules of Form: Sonnets and Slide Rules, is going to print next week, so I should shortly have it in my hands (whereupon I shall post photos). This is the Whipple Museum’s first art book, and I’m proud to have conceived of it and edited it. The book includes original artwork, original poetry, and two very different, very interesting essays – all of the contents is on the subject of, or inspired by, the Whipple Museum’s mathematical instruments. Contributors include artist Badaude, artist Cassie Herschel-Shorland, poet Lesley Saunders, and academics Joseph Crawford and Caitlin Wylie.

I’m looking into arranging a London-based book launch, so please stay tuned…

As part of our art book, ‘The Rules of Form: Sonnets & Slide Rules,’ poet Lesley Saunders and artist Cassie Herschel-Shorland were invited to interpret historic calculating instruments in the Whipple Museum’s collection. The result is a ‘dream cabinet’ of poetry and watercolour. I will chair a discussion between Lesley and Cassie talking about their collaboration, at the launch of the ‘Rules of Form’ art-book.

I’m proud to say that this is the first ‘art book’ the Whipple Museum has ever produced, and I’m delighted to have been encouraged to fulfil this ambition, having proposed the idea, compiled contributions, and edited the book with help from the Museum. I’ve wanted to create a book that is a blend of poetry, writing, and artwork for a long time, and surprisingly, the Whipple Museum’s cabinet of mathematical instruments offered this opportunity.

The event, in which we’ll discuss the creation of a particular section of the book, will be from 6 -7 pm on Saturday 27 October in the Whipple Museum. The ‘Dream Cabinet’ discussion is part of the 2012 Cambridge Festival of Ideas ‘Dreams & Nightmares’ season. It is free, but please contact the museum to put your name on the guest list! Email hps-whipple-museum@lists.cam.ac (dot) uk to sign up.

‘The Rules of Form: Sonnets & Slide Rules’ art book includes essays from Cambridge academics Dr Caitlin Wylie and Dr Joseph Crawford, artwork from Cassie Herschel-Shorland and Badaude, and poetry from Lesley Saunders. It is a creative compendium of responses to the somewhat retiring mathematics cabinet in the Whipple Museum, helping shed new and creative light on calculators and slide rules that have lain relatively silent for years.

The book will be available from the Whipple Museum: further details forthcoming. It will also be available at our event!

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