Anonymous Bosch

In 2020, I spent a few days looking for photographs that might help to illustrate Mike Jenkins fabulous poems for his new collection, Anonymous Bosch.

During a wander around Merthyr Tydfil town centre I took a number of photographs, and then in Cardiff I took a couple more.  I dug out some old shots too.  I converted the images to black and white, the results were quite pleasing and hopefully help to complement Mike’s poems.

To buy a copy of the book, published by Culture Matters, just click here.

Praise by editor Mike Quille:

Mike Jenkins once again invites us into the daily lives of austerity-struck residents of Merthyr Tydfil and the Valleys, in this bittersweet collection of poem-monologues, communicated in a sympathetic Welsh working-class voice that has become the poet’s signature. 

Once again we find them coping with the stresses and strains on the social fabric caused by decades of deindustrialisation and abandonment by Capital, magnified by recent Tory cuts to public services.

Nevertheless, in the face of this oppression and depression, Jenkins’ picaresque, expletive-rich speakers are defiantly talkative, witty and irrepressibly expressive as ever. Merthyr is Jenkins’ Milk Wood, his Llareggub of phantasmagorical grotesques where crushing mundanity and immiseration can only be kept at bay with drugs, humour and garrulousness. 

The striking, poignant black and white images of Dave Lewis brilliantly evoke the setting for these gritty, singsong poems. Together they form a modern mythology of Merthyr and the Valleys, which brings to mind the nightmarish imaginaries of Francisco Goya, William Hogarth and, of course, Hieronymous Bosch, all set against a hopeless backdrop of pandemic, Poundshop and Foodbank.”

Review:

“The poems are complemented by superbly arresting photographs of graffiti by Dave Lewis, which meld with the poems and add their own grain of street and underpass, surreptitious artistry and paint-can sloganeering.” – Jon Gower, Nation.Cymru


Here are a few of the images I took for the book:

Click for a larger version.

All images copyright © Dave Lewis.

To buy any prints – click here.


 

‘Trainspotting in Merthyr’

 

‘Eric the Relic’

 

‘Tears in the city’

 

 

‘Hirwaun bus stop’

 

‘Ghetto blaster’

 

 

‘Hats off’

 

 

‘Pampered Merthyr’

 

 

‘Pontypridd graffiti’

 


If you liked these images, combined with poetry, you may also be interested in Sawing Fallen Logs For Ladybird Houses from 2011 (photographs in ebook only), or Going Off Grid from 2018.

Some of the images from these collections can be viewed here and here.

All images copyright © Dave Lewis.