Fothergill-collaboration. Excerpt #1

So, earlier this week, I posted this blog post about the collaboration I’m doing with artist Zoe Fothergill. This is the first of the windows onto our discussion on structure and content. With the following words, Zoe launched us off into collaboration again:


‘so i contacted jennie and she i quote

would LOVE

for us to do a KL

she suggests a wee visit

to reccie the venue

as they have new hoos

but just around the corner

what say you, fancy a gander?

let me know when might suit

we chatted about a blog or sommat

to gather our thoughts

but i remember you wanted to use yours

so i haven’t set up another

not exactly sure re mechanics

so have attached a word doc

with some intial thoughts

and a pdf that relates

so just show me the way

and i’ll happily work

with what works for you’


Zoe started us off with some ideas on structure, going back to the Romans:

and ‘…starting with the simple palindrome.’

The Sator Square

79 AD –“The farmer Arepo has works wheels”

Another Latin palindrome,

In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni” (We go wandering at night and are consumed by fire)



Never odd or even

tattarrattat, coined by James Joyce in Ulysses (1922) for a knock on the door



[this was one of my favourite discoveries from Zoe’s list!]

Weird Al Jankovic – Bob



In English, two palindromic novels have been published:

Satire: Veritas by David Stephens (1980, 58,795 letters),


Dr Awkward & Olson in Oslo by Lawrence Levine (1986, 31,954 words).


In French, Oulipo writer George Perec’s “Grand Palindrome” (1969) is 5,556 letters in length


In Hebrew, Noam Dovev wrote a 363-word, 1331-letter palindromic story called, “Do god”


Iain again!:

There’s more to come on different types of constraint writing, but I’ll break it down into another post later in the week.