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Ian Hunt

Ian Hunt


Ian Hunt is an art critic and researcher into contemporary and modern art, and teaches in the Department of Art at Goldsmiths, University of London. As an editor his work includes two volumes of art criticism by Stuart Morgan, What the Butler Saw (durian/frieze, 1996) and Inclinations (frieze, 2006). He was born in Rochester in 1962, studied foundation for a year at Canterbury College of Art and did a degree in English at Cambridge in the mid-1980s, since when he has lived and worked in London. From 1994 to 2002 he published the poetry imprint Alfred David Editions, including books by Drew Milne, Brian Catling and Stephen Rodefer. His writing includes a story, The Daubers, a monologue on aspects of transmission and possession. Poems have been sporadic, but begin with 'En Echelon', which announces an interest that continues in poetry's relationship with drama. A chapbook, Green Light, was published by Barque Press in 2006 and is available from them as a  download. In 2010 he organised and performed in a staged reading of Frank O’Hara’s play Change Your Bedding! at POLYply (with Reuben Williamson and Kirsten Norrie) as part of the launch of the book Frank O’Hara Now. ‘As we descended’, a work for five voices, was commissioned for ‘Text : Sound’, an evening of new music curated by Anton Lukoszevieze and Joan Key at the Nunnery, Bow Arts Trust in 2011.



  • 'The Daubers', Edinburgh Review 95, Spring 1996.
  • The Daubers/Die Kritzler, German translation by Stella von Boch and Andreas Rthi, with Andreas Rüthi's Still life paintings, Alfred David Editions, 1996.
  • 'En Echelon', Angel Exhaust 16, 1999.
  • 'Destructive Impulse', Pig Cupid. A homage to Mina Loy ed. Drew Milne, Parataxis Editions, 2000.
  • 'Abacuses', Parataxis 10, 2001
  • 'Scene: a clearing' and 'Poem for Concourses', The Gig 15, 2003.
  • Green Light, Barque Press, 2006
  • 'Queen Loss in the Wild', published for the first time to accompany this recording.

Sample Text


If for a long time no one speaks
I hear a constant argument,
a beat that can't dislodge

the this this this:
go in deeper and you'll hear
its acoustic subtly alter.

The hammering you hark on
mutates, bored by its own voice
into a new twist -

not doubled, necessarily.
Maddening light shapes
file past their predecessors.

Regularities in what's called motion
are revealed by persons
willing to play rock-in-stream.


As a voice looks down the bright
pulsed light tunnelled and kinked
under oceans, antiphon delay
I tried to not walk between
the wandering child and its mother,
eyes upraised too late till
pavement       space       star map
there being still lights in such a firmament.


Consort wildly as so much
agrees or is agreed
by a gentler conqueror than you,
soft empire where enquiry meets
shocks any would invade
answerer's bubble.
Indifference of air's mosaic,
Terrazzo levels altering
subtly echoic stutters.
We note historic arrivals
of accessories for removal,
to lull the deed, or watch
for what was learnt:
new joiners had other ideas
closed on accidents of birth.
'Or did you not ever
for the first time
go on an escalator, ever.'
And agree that it is fine:
seeing names pre-printed,
what can you do but look
about &, occasionally, sign.


They found the DJ busy on sorrow
and in the refusal found
the new sound they know,

so fast it gave access to exhausted
not quite slowness
nonetheless accurate

to the slight yet very frequent
shocks of the modern world.

               is a political achievement'
repeated at ten dozen b.p.m.
it may be so still yet

       outside in the
          fear commas.


Around the edge and bolted
down, the pavilions.
But neglect the gods.

Rents in the broadcloth
through which the vignette becomes,
blinking from the passage,

ready for many entrances into singular
history civilian hairdressers become.
The gods 'are very near,

but cannot hear us',
the space above their level
occupied by glorious machinery of air.
Secular completeness unobserved
in last century's roofwork.

Even the hurriers benefit
from its built dispensation
and open transitions. (Audible
thunder in external hemisphere.)

These signs surplus to surly got down
verbatim. As a returnee from
illness marvels at simple motion.


With a felt pen I'll letter
unfamiliar letters separately
on a placard, the car lulled
safely to the space it takes.
I have wiped the previous careful
letter forms nicely. This reminds me
of the magic slate with which
Ernesto firmly taught
the importance of writing.
When the moment comes
I never make a mistake,
assure the eyes alighting
on the powderkeg of names
that I'm no ferryman,
just a cheerfully pale copy.
Rebuilt fairyland, it works
at least, I prefer it.
But by some trick it's me alone
represented with a family,
where I might want to be a cloud in trousers
or narrate imperium's grand-equivocal finale
or show them all the three cups trick again,
that it is never truly learnt:
in this I side with the child
playing with its shadow,
reverb of a saucepan lid
in anyone's noise orchestra -
I read 'the children will stand
and scream inarticulately
at each other for an hour together,
out of pure love to dissonance'.
I'll defer concatenation.
Except: do not make
too much of the past.
Sometimes there's no way
back to roman from italic,
we must just all
lean & slope onwards


To bush cinemas inclining
without the visible framework.
Truncation lightly carried over.

Piped music makes of air a watery pact.
Emerging onto a concourse
you find the audience waits,

all eyes upraised to the display:
          Every destination speaks MasterCard
Truncation lightly borne
          Anyone can play ambassador of an island state
So why this new, new pressure
          Abbreviation enters, revise
Imaginarium of mixing, its faults
          Quaint old municipal breeding
Life as it is; life caught unawares

Music for swimmers
          Aquarium of removal accepted
Proceed to way through now



for Tania Nasielski


Wishfold faltered third refer
to diamond pointmark
potent fur. You and you
dandelion head, set


stood aface the holm oak
quincunx, saying you to
diagram the face this way.
Lovers' chairs vanish


truant to musical arrest
of the caught wish.
I could not: Time flies you
cannot they move at


such irregular intervals:
say you from your fine
companions, desiring them
so stops this jerking state


in contemporary dance
laughed on a ridge
over whose contours the
bright diagrams fall.


So deprive the clock. Press
closely at the ticket
gate, they enter in through
copinaderie, to trim


corporate profits gathering
wool; shoplift for me
bracelets and shirts - ne te
découvre pas d'un fil


jusqu'à la fin du mois d'avril --
follow it through the tree
lattice growing that way
together bent. Carved by


marks that made them even
skin crops forth regenerate.
Wishforce folding pollen,
possibles caught in the neck


of Taurus and bad timing,
shine randomly
destinarian over
stopped   skipped   beats


Craving intimacy into
a page, a garish backdrop
fingertips meeting fair
thrown amities among


rhizomatic knotweed
eucalyptus in middle life
careless sycamores too too
grown for their back gardens.


Hornets patiently raise their
broods of zombie workers
never carved in stone
above the co-op door


like fabled bees & their
well intended deposits.
Enquire into their nests.
The queen's blazoning


pique in yellow black sematics
don't touch it's catching
might code for right democracy
at the Bug Ball der Zukunft


flashing combat to the unwary.
Let's unpack that thought,
teach diplomats arts of teasing
before the treaties of


foxgloves and tides in any case
around your ankles.
Firemen hoist, as you may,
scarfed from tallboys


and wardrobes of sexual
percentage, flung
around the bedroom scene
of a fair friend's care.


What falls so that? Not the triangle
but the hopeful rhombus.
Foxes make their beds by day
it comes soon to slay its brother.


Chance discovered them. Ears,
the deaf one, looks for Eyes.
'Look, it is the first drum
beats of autumn on the earth.'

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