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Beachcombing has been part of my DNA since I was able to walk. Every year our family holidays were spent in Mid Wales, and this was the highlight of my childhood. I would spend hours trawling the coastline for whatever I could find.


Being fortunate enough to live on the South Coast, I try to visit the beach as often as I can and one thing I love to do is stroll along the tidelines in search of objects, both natural and manmade.  


Having watched the documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ a film that highlights the effect of plastic pollution on the world’s ocean life, I wanted to combine the horror-aesthetic of manmade detritus with the inherent beauty of shells, seaweed, and egg cases etc… to explore this issue.  


As a visual poet, disjointed yet pleasing juxtaposition is something I love to experiment with. This opposition between the organic and the artificial excited me so, I set out to create a collection that has this thematic resonance at its heart. Not all the made poems feature beach-finds, but they all attempt to reflect this oxymoronic premise.  Combining found images and objects with elements of language, I attempt to capture something evocative. 


The title Seaview plays with term often used in estate agent speak that refers to of the location of the archetypal, desirable residence. By pairing the enduring ‘beauty’ of coastal flora and fauna with the deliberately constructed synthetic appeal of the fake, unnaturalness of the manufactured, I hope to subvert the popular belief embodied in the term. 


I want this book to play havoc. I want the poems to challenge the perception of what we experience as pure and what we experience as perverse. Ironically, many of the manufactured objects I find are broken, lost or discarded toys.  


As a society we have come to rely upon and value plastic so heavily that it seems impossible to imagine a world without it. Yet most of us would probably agree that killing our planet and our race through the continuous production of items for a throwaway culture is suicidal. By interlacing the poems in this collection with that ultimate contradiction, I hope, in some way, to draw attention to the existential crisis that faces us all.  


Richard Biddle

"Poems that replicate seeing poetry underwater. We take for granted our above water privileges - our oxygen our free and leisurely motion, our disappearing plastic waste. Seaview by Richard Biddle, undoubtedly one of the UK's most original and consistent visual poets, forces us to return back to whence we came, creeping from our balconies, down jetties onto beaches and underwater. Th book is conceptually brilliant, timely, personal and yet it hums with the mysteries of the sea - a place more lludic than space. Here is poetry that embodies the unfathomable depths of water that make up 71% of our planet, that is both our view across the horizon, and our inability to know below."

S J Fowler

"Richard Biddle recognises that 'tides edit' they are the habitual editors of coastal texts. Biddle, performing this role himself, examines the unsettling turn shorelines have taken, as pebbles and seashells now sit beside plastic bottles and toxic toys. Seaview constitutes a bold work of visual and asemic poetry, playfully plying the trade of the tides but unafraid to highlight their horrors."

Anthony Etherin

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