As Kingfishers Catch Fire
by Alex Preston & Neil Gower was published in 2017
Conceived as a ravishing visual celebration of birds in literature, it was the ultimate experience of distilling the written word into paint. It was constructed one chapter, one bird at a time. The paintings were conjured, via urgent sketches, from the sweet-spot in each chapter where the various authors’ evocations of the same bird intersected.
In addition to surpassing his expectations of what was feasible in paint, the intensity and giddiness of the process realigned his creativity towards exploring possibilities with his own words. The result, four years later, is his first collection of poetry, Meet Me in Palermo.