derek jarman

'A Finger in the Fishes Mouth'


silver mirror cover, including 33 single colour images.

174 x 230mm, 148 pages, limited to just 300 copies.


A facsimile edition of Derek Jarman's only poetry collection, originally published in 1972.
À rare, previously unavailable collection of poetry by one of the most significant and influential filmmakers and artists of his generation.

To mark the 20th anniversary of Derek Jarman's death, a facsimile edition of his sole, early, extremely rare poetry book (only 10 copies): A Finger in the Fishes Mouth, originally published in 1972.
Heavily illustrated from Jarman's collection of postcards, the book combines text and visual imagery in a way which foreshadows his subsequent style as an artist and filmmaker. With the majority of the first edition having been destroyed by Jarman, this new edition makes available a missing, significant piece of his oeuvre.
The facsimile retains the book's original format, with a silver mirror cover, and an image accompanying each poem, printed in a striking green ink. Additional material comes in the form of a new Foreword and Afterwords by Sophie Mayer, Tony Peake and Keith Collins.
A Finger in the Fishes Mouth is the only book being published as part of Jarman 2014, a year-long season of events to celebrate Jarman's life and work.

While it is thought that Jarman destroyed the majority of the first edition, his reasons for doing so are not so clear. During the preparation of this new edition, all the copies consulted have proved to be extremely fragile, with the bindings and covers invariably and inherently flawed. This facsimile version finally makes available a missing piece in Jarman's extraordinary oeuvre, a telling work which until now has been more read about than read.
The format of the book, retained in this edition, is a vital component of its overall aesthetic, with a siver mirror cover reflecting the reader's own image. The image on the front cover is a Wilhelm von Gloeden photograph of a young boy with his finger in the mouth of a flying fish, with Jarman's name and the book's title printed in his own handwriting, is Jarman's phrase; 'Thru the bilboard promised land'.